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New rumor has Apple TV set supporting FaceTime calls, Siri

updated 02:00 pm EDT, Mon May 7, 2012

Hardware said to resemble oversized Thunderbolt Display

A "well-placed" source has seen a prototype of Apple's upcoming TV set, claims Cult of Mac. Visually the hardware is said to resemble Apple's current Thunderbolt Display, but with a size "much larger" than 27 inches. The centerpiece is actually an iSight camera, which will allegedly support Siri voice commands and FaceTime video calls.

The source adds that because people rarely sit close to a TV, the camera will be able to detect and track faces, zooming in during FaceTime calls even when a person walks around a room. Calls are said to be initiated through Siri. Other reports have previously speculated that Siri could also be used to handle tasks like search or changing channels, all but eliminating the need for a remote. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs one famously told biographer Walter Isaacson that he had "finally cracked" a TV interface, but didn't go into further detail.

When an Apple set might ship is unknown, but any prototype would probably represent very early hardware at this stage. Most reports are calling for a launch no earlier than late 2012, with 2013 being a more commonly accepted timeframe. The company may be waiting to secure streaming deals before launching a TV to match.

by MacNN Staff



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