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.