updated 12:10 pm EDT, Thu June 18, 2009
Apple 3D remote patent
Apple has invested serious attention in the possibility of a 3D motion-control remote for the Apple TV, a newly-published patent application reveals. Backing up a later filing, the application once again describes a remote which would let users navigate an interface by pointing to objects, as well as making specific gestures. The remote would communicate with an Apple TV using IR, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Selection methods could also include buttons, switches, a touchscreen and/or a touchpad. Controls could also be applied to a variety of interfaces, including video, photo and music playback, and browsing through libraries of available content. Notable is the possibility of an iPhone-like on-screen keyboard, which would greatly simply typing in comparison to the current Apple TV remote.
The hardware in the Apple TV has not been updated since May of 2007, and the last major software update occurred in late 2008. Apple has frequently described the device as a "hobby," though it has also suggested greater possibilities. In addition to a better remote, users have frequently requested 1080p output and larger hard drive capacities.