With the news of Toshiba and Hitachi’s gesture-controlled TV’s, Apple is developing their very own Wii-like remote for the Apple TV. Two identical patent applications published earlier this week by Apple mentioned something about a wand that would expand Apple TV’s capabilities into a full-fledged entertainment system. Apple proposes a variety of uses for the wand including zoom operations, a keyboard application, an image application, an illustration application, and a media application.
Reports have surfaces that the wand could be used to call up a dock, and then to select an option from the menu by moving the wand across the screen. The controller could also scroll through a CoverFlow display and be used to manipulate photos by zooming in and out and rotating. Other operations include using the wand as a digital pen and operating Apple TV’s on-screen keyboard.
There are only two things that could come out of this development. One is Apple will go on to the video game market, using the wand as a Wii-like controller and having the iTunes store as their primary game distribution software/network. Second is Apple developing Apple TV as a premiere and complete entertainment system that would appeal to both adults and children. But in any case, Apple is not ruling anything out, but I doubt the company would consider gaming too seriously.
But before anything else, there is the issue on whether the Apple wand infringes on any of Nintendo’s patents for the Wiimote. Apple recently claimed it was going to be aggressive about protecting its own patents and expectedly, Nintendo would also feel the same. It’s too early to say what will happen at this point, as the patent filing only points to a concept. It’s entirely possible that Apple may decide the wand doesn’t do what they want for the Apple TV or it could end up with an entirely different device.