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Apple contemplates voice commands for TV remote

updated 04:15 pm EDT, Thu May 21, 2009

Apple voice remote patent

Apple has been considering voice recognition as an option for future TV remotes, most likely for the Apple TV set-top, a newly-published patent application hints. Titled Context-aware unit selection, the filing describes a "pointing device" associated with a computer, dubbed a "Web TV" system. Embedded in the remote would be a microphone, capable of accepting commands such as "open iTunes."

The only Apple product that the patent could directly apply to is the Apple TV, though the technology could also conceivably be carried over to Front Row remotes. The filing coincidentally mirrors a recent application from Microsoft, which calls for a "magic wand" device that could support a variety of different sensors, as well as input and output types. The company makes no specific product associations in its patent.

by MacNN Staff



  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Give me a break, voice control is a logical and natural next step for most appliances I don't see how either MS or Apple have any leg to stand on in terms of patenting this. How about patenting language as a medium for convying commands and then starting to charge us for asking for a beer at the local pub.

    ENough with the generic and meaningless patents.

  1. bloggerblog

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Oh please, anything but the current AppleTV remote. I already went through 3 remotes, this thing is not made for a TV.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The only thing I can think of worse than the damnable apple remote (6 buttons, volume doesn't work through digital out, so 4 buttons, and yet they can't figure out how to do "skip 30 seconds forward") would be one where you'd have to speak through a show.

    And that's exactly what everyone said when some tech head said "Apple's got a minimalist remote, but we're doing a no-button remote! All voice recognition!" several years ago.

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