Apple has long been rumored to release a new version of its Apple TV and now a note from an analyst is saying that the next-generation smart TV from Apple will have motion control and a touch remote control.
In fact, Apple is rumored to demo a new Apple TV at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) happening in California today. This will be the update to the Apple TV set-top box which the company has previously said was a hobby but has since sold a lot of.
The new information about the next-generation Apple TV having motion control – think of the Xbox 360 gaming console with its Kinect motion controller – and a touch panel remote control comes from Topeka Capital Markets and its analyst Brian White.
Apparently, Mr. White went to Computex in Taiwan and got a chance to meet and chat with unnamed supply chain sources. What he got out from these meetings was the details of the new Apple TV features mentioned above.
According to the analyst, not only will the next Apple TV have motion control, it will have “special” motion control.
To give you a background, LG and Samsung have both unveiled new next-generation smart TVs which will likely launch any time this year.
For example, Samsung unveiled a new 55-inch Super OLED TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January. This unit had built-in motion control. In fact, Samsung has officially launched this new line of OLED TVs and we’ve covered it here in an in-depth report. The short of it is, the new Samsung line of OLED TVs has gesture and voice control.
According to Mr. White, the new Apple TV will also have this. because of this, we’re thinking that Apple will tap LG and Samsung to build its new Apple TV although they will likely lean towards getting it done by LG as the they have an massive legal war waged with Samsung.
The analyst did not offer a lot of details about this Apple TV motion control but he did say that it will be “a special type of motion detection technology.”
Furthermore, the new Apple TV will have a one-of-a-kind remote control with a touch screen. We don’t know yet if this will prove to be true but if it does, we’re betting that this new remote control will likely cost much.
There’s also the possibility that Siri will be integrated into the new Apple TV opening a new range of controls triggered by voice. Furthermore, since Apple also makes a smartphone (the iPhone), a tablet (the iPad) and computers (the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac and Mac Pro), apps on these machines can also be tapped to control and sync with this new Apple TV.
In a note sent to clients on Monday, the Topeka Capital Markets analyst said:
“Regarding Apple TV, the data points during our trip indicate the company will use a special type of motion detection technology on future full blown Apple TV that we expect to be unveiled within the next couple of quarters, rather than touch technology. Also, our contacts indicate a unique remote control with a touch panel form factor that looks similar to the iPad would be used to control the device. The bezel is expected to be a plastic composition, rather than the aluminum unibody exterior that surrounds the MacBook Air.”
The plastic bezel is a somewhat a shocker as Apple has not been very fond of plastic but uses mostly metal and glass.
As WWDC 2012 is happening today until Friday, we’ll have to wait and see if Apple unveils a new Apple TV with these features revealed by the analyst.
Image from wicker_man on Flickr (CC)