Media

Apple television is like a big Thunderbolt display, says source

It’s a bird, it’s a plane! No, it’s an Apple iTV prototype! A Cult of Mac source claims to have seen the rumored Apple television and says it looks just like the Thunderbolt display, but bigger.

According to this source, the television is equipped with two pivotal elements that will put Apple’s mark on the device: iSight and Apple’s voice-controlled assistant Siri. The iSight camera will be used for making Facetime calls, while Siri could represent an evolution of remote controls from handheld devices to built-in voice-enabled software. The television is also “much larger” than the Thunderbolt display, according to the source, though specific sizing details are not available.

Apple television side viewIt has been long-expected that Apple would release a television using Siri, though the company has not yet graduated the software off of its latest smartphone. As for Facetime, the source says the camera has the ability to follow you around the room, as well as zoom in on your face so you won’t have to sit right next to the screen for the person to see you clearly. Whether or not it will be able to detect and follow more than one person is unknown.

Rumors about an Apple television have been swirling for months. Analyst Peter Misek said he spotted television parts slowly being shipped to Apple’s manufacturers on a recent visit to Asia. He believes the television could debut as soon as this summer, though that target seems unrealistic now. Others say Apple has been in talks with Epix, a movie channel backed by three major studios, for a streaming deal that Netflix currently monopolizes.

Cult of Mac warns that the source is “well placed,” but the tips don’t always pan out. The source often gets early access to prototypes, which Apple may not use in the final product.

via Cult of Mac; Mockup images via Dan Draper