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This past Tuesday, Apple was awarded a patent that that allows for “displaying a synchronized instance of content on a portable electronic device” – or, in layman’s terms, reverse Airplay.
This technology would allow users to stream content from their Apple TV to a portable iOS device, the opposite of how users typically use their Apple TV and iOS devices together. This would also allow for screen mirroring from an Apple TV set to an iPad or iPhone. Your content from your Apple TV can follow you from room to room in your house, or allow you to watch your Apple TV while away from home.
The patent describes several other scenarios in which this technology would be useful. For instance, if a group of friends are watching a movie together and one member of the party runs to the kitchen to make some popcorn – instead of the group pausing the movie and waiting for the missing member to return, the movie can continue on both the Apple TV and the missing member’s iPhone.
Although it’s not 100% certain that this technology will be implemented any time soon, if at all, there are rumors surrounding a major revamp in the Apple TV in the near future. It remains to be seen if this technology would be a part of that revamp.