Apple is just coming off their record breaking product release of the iPhone 4S and analysts are already speculating what's coming next. The new iPhone 4S is capable of an incredible seven times increased graphics power and AirPlay Mirroring, a feature that was previously exclusive to the iPad 2. Steve Jobs' biography was recently released and Steve is quoted as saying he has cracked the user interface required for a new generation of televisions. This tidbit of information as well as tips from the supply chain regarding prototype testing have caused several analysts to speculate that an Apple television set may be released as soon as mid 2012 or early 2013.
Some analysts attribute the release date speculation to the recent release of several new technologies which could easily function as part of a new television control interface. Siri the new voice recognition and personal assistant exclusive to the iPhone 4S would be an interesting and futuristic tool if used to select television and movies hands-free using an Apple television. Nick Bilton of the New York times has confirmed that the Apple television is in the works, it's just a matter of time, and that controlling video content through voice is some futuristic stuff. In his article for the New York Times, Nick Bilton explains how Siri would work with a television set:
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.
Joe Hewitt, former Firefox developer, speculates that AirPlay is the user interface breakthrough that Steve Jobs was speaking about in his biography. AirPlay is a feature that many television studios and cable providers have been adding to their App Store apps which allows any iOS device owner to stream video from their device to a television equipped with an Apple TV set-top box. Just today both DirecTV and Bloomberg TV launched iPad apps which "turn your iPad into a portable TV" but also allow users to control what's on the television set with an iPad, and who doesn't like being able to control more things with their iPad? AirPlay can also be used for gaming purposes, allowing users to stream video from their iOS device while controlling the game going on on the television with their device and its touch screen or gyroscope.
A television equipped with AirPlay and Siri would be an incredible extension to the Apple lineup of iOS products and would only further the already overwhelming Apple halo effect. It's very easy to imagine a household that already owns several Apple products being tempted to purchase an Apple television set as their next television purchase if these features and more were included.
Would controlling your television with your voice or your iPad interest you? What other features could Apple include?
Header image edited from original art by xell.