Apple’s Smart TV Project – What we Understand up to Now

It is widely recognized within the technology market that Apple is focusing on a smart internet-connected TV gadget. What do we actually understand about the ‘iTV’ up to now?

Apple TV Set Controlled by Siri

Image: New York Times

There has been lots of speculation traveling about regarding an Apple TV set for many years, and it has often been reported that Apple has been on the verge of an announcement – only to be let down at the last moment.  Several experts and commentators, nevertheless, think that an Apple TV set is just a matter of months away.

Nick Bilton at the New York Times speculates that any such TV will be fully controllable by Siri, the voice assistant that has recently debuted on the iPhone 4S.

It’s the stuff of science fiction. You sit on your couch and rather than fumble with several remotes or use hand gestures, you simply talk: “Put on the last episode of Gossip Girl.” “Play the local news headlines.” “Play some Coldplay music videos.” Siri does the rest.

Over at Business Insider Apple analyst Gene Munster thinks the Apple TV will be a full-fledged TV set and not, as the current incarnation of Apple TV is, an extra box that plugs into your TV set.

You’ll still have to have a cable subscription and cable box, Gene says, because Apple doesn’t have enough content otherwise.  But the only thing you’ll have to do is screw the co-ax cable into the back of the TV set.

MediaBeat has a different view that Apple are planning a new set-top release before any fully fledged TV set is launched.

 Apple might be planning a new version of its Apple TV, the $99 set-top box that lets owners stream media to their television, according to component information found within the code of iOS 5.1 beta.

Both agree that any product will likely be optimised for both motion sensing controllers and iPhone, iPad integration with the potential for control via Siri, Apple’s

Steve Jobs’ Vision

Something we are pretty sure of is that the idea turned out to be an obsession of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Information from Walter Isaacson’s authorized life story revealed that Jobs thought that the organization had made a huge breakthrough on its route to developing a smart TV.

“He wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players and phones: make them simple and elegant,” Isaacson wrote. He went on to quote Jobs: “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. No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”

Time will tell but one thing is for sure; the speculation will keep on going.

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Filed in: Content Providers, Streaming Media Devices