A well known Apple analyst claims that the upcoming set-top box will use motion technology for user input, eliminating the need for a physical remote.
Apple is expected to step up its TV offering this year. It stands to lose ground if it doesn’t, as competition from rivals such as Roku and even Amazon’s Fire TV continues to mount.
Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is a famed Apple analyst, who has often been right about the company’s plans. Kuo claims in a new research note that by fall 2014 the Apple TV will be updated, and that it will play a “key role” in Apple’s ecosystem. Motion control technology is predicted to be an important part of the new set-top box. Users would no longer need a remote to interact with it. This new input method is possible, and could be driven by Apple’s acquisition of PrimeSense. Apple acquired the Kinect inventor for north of $300 million, and its believed that the company aims to use the technology and talent to improve its TV offering.
It has been over a year since Apple TV’s hardware was refreshed, though the company has improved software over time and has added quite a few content sources. But that alone doesn’t cut it. Apple TV might be woven into the company’s ecosystem but it still doesn’t do what competitors like the Fire TV can, offer voice search, gaming capability and more. To enable the features, it needs better hardware, and that’s what we expect from Apple this time around.
Previous rumors suggest that the new Apple TV may also include a standalone App Store, which will include apps and games specifically designed for the set-top box. Motion control technology could also be used to facilitate gaming on the Apple TV, it is unclear if Apple aims to produce a separate game controller as well like Amazon has.
As the technology is likely to improve, it remains to be seen if as a result the price goes up as well. Apple would probably want to keep it at $99, the price at which the existing Apple TV sells. Even Amazon priced its new set-top box at $99.