There has been widespread speculation that Apple is working on a TV project
2:48pm UK, Monday November 28, 2011
A new television controlled by the viewer's voice or gestures is being designed by Apple, according to speculation surrounding what is being dubbed iTV.
The highly anticipated TV set from the company that invented the iPad and iPhone would reportedly combine traditional viewing with the internet, allowing increased interactivity and connections to other devices.
Patent applications filed in October reportedly contained details of an Apple device for "real-time video process control using gestures" while the recently launched iPhone 4S already has a voice-controlled personal application, Siri.
Similar technology is also already in use in other devices.
Microsoft's Kinect for the Xbox games console allows users to control games or call up video menus using a hand gesture.
It can also recognise voice commands if the user says "Xbox" before giving the command.
He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players and phones: make them simple and elegant.
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Pantech, a Korean smartphone manufacturer, also showed off the technology on its latest device, allowing users to answer calls or navigate through images without touching the screen.
Speculation about Apple TV grew after founder Steve Jobs, who died last month, was quoted in a biography as saying he had "cracked" an idea for a "seamlessly synched" television.
"He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players and phones: make them simple and elegant," the authorised biography said.
Apple's television products have previously been limited to Apple TV, a device that enables users to stream content from iTunes, YouTube and other sources on their TVs.
Peter Misek, an analyst at the American bank Jefferies, said Apple could make iTV available by next summer after Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp was brought in to manufacture the screens.
Rival TV makers are likely at least six to 12 months behind, Misek said, adding that many lack the software and cloud-computing expertise to compete with Apple.
The project would increase Apple's competition with Samsung, which already produces internet-connected TVs.
The two companies, which are competing in the smartphone and tablet markets, are locked in an international patent dispute, with about 20 court cases going on around the world.
Apple and Samsung have declined to comment on the speculation.