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Why the next Apple TV Could Be Much Much Smarter

Why the next Apple TV Could Be Much Much Smarter
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We all have different tastes and preferences and Apple has filed a few patents that could make securing and organizing your favorite content a lot easier.

Luxury cars give owners the ability to program unique settings for different drivers. One driver might prefer sitting close to the steering wheel, the headrest tilted forward, and the lumbar support turned up. With one press of a button, all of these settings can be changed, giving the driver ultimate comfort without any hassle.

Apple is working on a feature similar to what we see in luxury cars. With the press of one button of your remote control, you could view your favorite content along with all your personally customized settings.

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Actual text from the patent describes in-depth what the technology is.

An electronic device receives data associated with at least one biometric detected by a sensor of a remote control device. The biometric may be at least one fingerprint, retinal scan, facial image, and/or any other biometric. A profile for a user associated with the data is determined out of a number of possible profiles based on the data. The electronic device is then configured in one or more ways according to the determined user profile. Such configuration may include any way that the electronic device may be personalized and/or otherwise altered. In this way, an electronic device may provide a personalized experience for a number of different users without burdening and/or annoying the respective users.”

The general idea of the patent is that a biometric scanner would be placed on an Apple TV remote. While the patent doesn’t say specifically what type of sensor would be used, it would most likely be introduced with the Touch ID hardware.

It would then read the user’s fingerprint to determine the specific profile. We’ve seen biometric scanners on iPhones and iPads but never before on a remote control device.

The specific profiles could allow users to configure many different customization options such screen layout, brightness, and volume levels for those who are hard of hearing.

Another useful possibility of the biometric profiles could be unique content suggestions. Due to the fact that (theoretically) no one else will be using your unique profile, the Apple TV could easily suggest new television shows, music, movies, and even videogames, based on your viewing habits, likes, and dislikes.

A hugely important use for this type of technology would be child restrictions. A fingerprint sensor would make it even more difficult for a child to view programming they weren’t intended to. Also, content suggestions for kids could eliminate the time it takes to search for something they like to watch and create more time to spend with their favorite characters.


We’ve already seen the popular Apple TV concepts, featured above and below thanks to Martin Hajek, which have been shared all over the web. These Apple TV concepts show a new and unique rumored remote that features its very own touchscreen. The remote looks very similar to an iPod nano, and without a doubt could add new and exciting levels of interaction with the Apple TV system. The home button featured on the Apple TV remote concept would be an optimal space for the Touch ID sensor.

Think about it this way, you want to watch television. You press the home button/ Touch ID sensor, and in one effortless motion you’ve turned on the Apple TV as well as indicated to the device who you are. Your unique profile would automatically pop up with the content that you want to see.

Of course Apple files tons of patents year after year. The company likes to get a stranglehold on any new potential technology they can think of and often doesn’t actually do anything with the patent. So we might not see this technology in the future, but I have a feeling we will. This technology makes total sense.

It would make organizing and finding the content we actually wish to see easier than ever. Not only does it make sense from a software perspective, but for hardware? Duh! We already have Touch ID sensors located within the home buttons of our iPads and iPhones, why not on our Apple TV remote?

Apple is rumored to be producing a new Apple TV and we were expecting to see it at this year’s WWDC. It seems that production schedules and deals with major networks have put a hold on the new device. Which is completely okay. If it Apple wasn’t planning on including Touch ID on the Apple TV remote previously, all the set-backs might give them enough time to implement the newly patented technology. Whether Apple uses this patent on the newest Apple TV or not is up for debate, chances are we find out their final decision later this fall.

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