Voice controlled Apple TV is coming

Shout at it, gesture at it, and forget about your remote control
Darren Allan

November 30, 2011

Cast your mind back to earlier this month, and you might recall that Sony’s CEO Howard Stringer talked about a “different” kind of TV the company is planning on introducing.

Although he wouldn’t say exactly how it was different, he did mention Steve Jobs and how he was looking to revolutionise TV.

It has long been rumoured that Apple is working on some sort of television and those rumours have just stronger with an article in the Guardian reporting on the reality of Apple’s allegedly upcoming set.

The iTV, as it’s currently known but doubtless that name will be changed for obvious reasons, will be a TV set you can shout and gesticulate at.

Although we can, and often do, shout and gesticulate at our TV, or more accurately our Sky+ box, when it freezes for a minute at a time, or randomly fast forwards/rewinds.

The thing about iTV is that, unlike our set up, it’ll actually listen to your words and interpret your actions. Motion sensors and infrared will apparently be used to interpret gestures, not unlike Kinect does with the Xbox, and of course Apple has already honed voice recognition to some extent with Siri on the iPhone.

Apple is designing the set with the most simple interface possible, and it would also be hooked up to iCloud, naturally.

According to the Guardian article, Sharp is in line to begin commercial production on the screens for the set next February, and they’ll be on the market in the second half of next year.

The source for this information is an analyst at US bank Jefferies, Peter Misek.

As it stands, there’s obviously not much information, but the TV doesn’t sound radically different – and you can get gesture/voice control on the Xbox currently, anyway (with the new updated dashboard bringing voice search).

We’ll leave judgement until we know more, of course – at this stage it’s all still speculation based off one analyst’s comment. But the Cupertino company does have a knack of being able to put slick and seamless together in a most tempting fashion for the consumer, so if this set does materialise, maybe it’ll perform a lot better than the Apple set-top box.


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