Apple Gives Media Executives Vague Hints about Its Television Plans
The Wall Street Journal provides some of the first hints about Apple's internal television project. While rumors of such a project have been ongoing for years, there has been a renewed interest in it since Steve Jobs described having "finally cracked" the TV interface in his recently released biography.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has been in ongoing discussions with media executives at several large companies about their vision for the future of TV. Apple's Senior Vice President Eddy Cue is reported to have outlined new ways Apple's technology could be used across phones, tablets and TVs. The overall concept, however, remains rather vague. It seems that Apple has discussed a number of possibilities with executives, but stopping well short of outlining their exact vision.
Of course, voice and movement controls have been suggested, though in a long term view:
In at least one meeting, Apple described future television technology that would respond to users' voices and movements, one of the people said. Such technology, which Apple indicated may take longer than some of its other ideas, might allow users to use their voices to search for a show or change channels.
Beyond that, Apple's TV plans seem to revolve around wireless streaming technology to access shows and movies. The use of Apple's AirPlay technology could allow users to control the device from their iPhone and iPad, possibly eliminating the need for a set top box. As an example, users could watch video on their TV and then move over to their iPhone or iPad seemlessly. Other sources indicate that Apple has worked on integrating DVR storage and iCloud into their future TV device.
The question of what content will be shown on the new device remains up in the air. Apple is not said to have pursued the necessary content deals at this time, though have considered the possibility of licensing content directly to create a subscription-TV service. Steve Jobs, himself, was reportedly part of these early talks as far back as 2010.
Apple's ongoing secrecy should come as no surprise. We've previously reported that competitors are already "scrambling" to react to Apple's rumored entry into the television market.