Rumor: Apple to launch TV that responds to gesture commands

By Lee Kaelin on November 29, 2011, 8:32 AM

There is no denying that Apple has pretty much revolutionized the music and phone markets with its iPod and iPhone devices. Then came the iPad, which took the industry by storm and to this day still dominates the majority of tablet sales.

Now details are beginning to emerge about Apple's next big product, a television that you can control using gestures. The new device is said to be the brainchild of the late Steve Jobs, with the company hoping to realize his ambitions of turning couch surfing into a hi-tech experience.

Initial reports gained traction after Steve Jobs' biography referred to the new TV, with the former Apple executive quoted as saying: "I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."

Japanese firm Sharp will reportedly start commercial production of television screens in February, and Apple would have the sets available by the second half of 2012, according to Peter Misek at the American bank Jefferies. "Other TV manufacturers have begun a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be and do," he said. "They hope to avoid the fate of other industries and manufacturers who were caught flat-footed by Apple."

Apple's internet-connected television could also put existing services like BSkyB, Virgin and a host of online content providers at risk of losing customers to the Cupertino-based company's iCloud service, which could provide seemless downloading and viewing of films and music, as well as traditional television programs.

According to the Guardian, Apple filed a new patent in October for "real time video process control using gestures, which describes using infrared, motion and other sensors to read the user's movements." Gestures could be used for anything from editing video to moving a film playing on a mobile phone to a bigger screen.

Misek believes the iTV will start with an initial production run of approximately 5 million to 10 million units, and will utilize LCD panels. Jeff Robbin, a senior engineer for Apple who contributed in creating the iTunes service and the iPod, is said to be heading up the new project.

What is interesting though is Samsung already makes internet-connected television sets, so this new Apple device would open up a new front in which to compete with the South Korean technology giant. As you'd expect, Apple declined to comment on any speculation regarding the new product.




User Comments: 13

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treetops treetops said:

Sounds like they stole the idea from all those hacked kinect youtube videos.

MilwaukeeMike said:

treetops said:

Sounds like they stole the idea from all those hacked kinect youtube videos.

Yup, as soon as I read ' infrared, motion and other sensors to read the user's movements' the Kinect was the first thing I thought of too.

'Hacked' isn't exactly the right word to describe the Kinect though, as MS chose not to encrypt the data that comes out of the device so it could be used as widely as possible. They knew it was the first multi-sensor device anywhere near affordable in the marketplace.

I wouldn't say I hacked my Television because I use it as a computer monitor.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

treetops said:

Sounds like they stole the idea from all those hacked kinect youtube videos.

My first thought too. Sounds like they are working on an " iKinect " :P

Chazz said:

How are they allowed to patent the Kinect?

MilwaukeeMike said:

chazz said:

How are they allowed to patent the Kinect?

The Kinect is just 3 cameras in a single device. it's an infrared sensor, a depth camera and a regular camera (I think, someone will probably correct this.)

If Apple wanted to build their own TV with the same sensors that would be ok.

We're making the comparison because the function is the same.

treetops treetops said:

After seeing those videos I was thinking they should hook it up to lights in your house. I would love to put up 3 fingers and have my lights go off. Maybe when the prices go down will have one in every room. Controlling our tvs, radio, etc. Also if 3d gaming is as good as I hope it is it would be pretty cool to box a hologram.

Guest said:

Here we go, now apple will say that Microsoft stole there idea, patent the new ikinect and sue Microsoft for using there patent.

There is no way I will buy a TV made by Sharp with an apple on it, will cost an arm and a leg and Apple will decide which channel you are allowed to watch.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

This is really going to be a game changer. If you ignore the existence of the Kinect and other pre-existing technologies.

But this will be different because it will be from Apple...

sigh...

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm as Apple skeptical as anyone, but I could see where this has the possibility of being an interesting product. If Apple can wave their "simplicity and elegance" magic wand effectively over the television experience, there could be some interesting results. Even if it is very elitist and massively outpriced compared to other TVs, there could be a significant impact on the industry - if it follows suit with the iPod, Mac, iPhone, iPad, etc. Their products may not end up in everyone's hands, but Apple does have a track record of changing the game when they step in with a new imagining of an existing product.

Chazz said:

milwaukeemike said:

chazz said:

How are they allowed to patent the Kinect?

The Kinect is just 3 cameras in a single device. it's an infrared sensor, a depth camera and a regular camera (I think, someone will probably correct this.)

If Apple wanted to build their own TV with the same sensors that would be ok.

We're making the comparison because the function is the same.

Ya, I know.

"Apple filed a new patent in October for "real time video process control using gestures, which describes using infrared, motion and other sensors to read the user's movements."

That describes the kinect basically. And the kinect is used to interact with your tv, apps and video games. They shouldn't have given out that patent unless it was Microsoft filing it(or the company that Microsoft purchased in order to use the kinect).

Edit:My bad, I didn't read it clearly, they only filed a patent...I don't think it;s been granted. It definitely should not be granted unless they get very specific in their description.

Uvindu said:

Vrmithrax said:

If Apple can wave their "simplicity and elegance" magic wand effectively

"Wave" - hehe I'm asuming thats: 'No pun intended'

Guest said:

apple haters are looking more and more silly every day. To hate just to hate is just retarded. Nothing in the world is new since the invention of the wheel. Everything has been copied and improved upon.

Gars Gars said:

^ no smoke without fire

and no hate here

just some peeps that valuate things like price vs performance, gold vs copper, apples vs oranges, etc, etc

what about the wheel vs hot water?

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