A new Apple TV patent has revealed part of a control scheme Apple hopes to use for its next generation of television products.
Touch screen controls for Apple TV?
The patent shows how a iOS device or a Mac could be used to control the Apple TV – whether you picked up an iPhone, an iPad or a Mac, the screen would display the content in a way that would be optimised for your display. You could swipe and slide through your content on the touch-screen or with your trackpad, making selections and seeing them appear on the big screen instantly:
“The disclosed technology relates to receiving media signals from a media device and rendering a user interface that is native to the device receiving the media signals based on information encoded in the media signals. The device receiving the media signal interprets information received from the media device describing media content and semantic information describing a type of interface page, and displays the content based on the semantic information in a graphical user interface (GUI) on the electronic device based on the interpretation.”
Apple’s second screen
As well as this, the patent also describes a ‘passive’ mode, in which the second screen could act as an information tool for what you are watching. Once you have made your selection and the media is playing on the screen, you could use your iOS device to look for extra information about the TV show or movie you were watching, then display this on the big screen, either as an overlay or sidebar.
There have been several rumours surrounding Apple’s ongoing ‘interest‘ in television, with some suggesting Apple will launch a revamped Apple TV box with a subscription TV service, and others saying the device has been pushed back until 2015.