Ever since the biography of Steve Jobs was published there has been increased speculation about Apple’s next big thing. The speculation comes from comments that Steve Jobs shared with Walter Isaacson, his biographer, that he’d “like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use… It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud…It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”
Steve’s thoughts have us all anxiously waiting one of the final products envisioned by Apple’s co-founder. Apple has not yet released a full television but they have been “beta” testing their approach to the living room with their first and second generation Apple TV that acts as a digital hub for streaming content. The set-top-box like device has been impressive but many have hoped for something revolutionary from Apple.
Apple makes some of the best computer displays on the market. The idea of them bringing similar quality of display to a Television has many excited, especially if the device has all of the current features of the Apple TV set-top-box integrated into the television. The addition of DVR capabilities would only make an Apple Television that more enticing to consumers.
But these features alone aren’t likely to be enough get Apple to push into the market. Apple is known for changing any market they compete in, revolutionizing it, and adding streaming services and DVR capabilities doesn’t offer anything new to television consumers.
Apple Has Been Testing The Market
Apple experimented and partnered with cell phone manufacturers a number of different ways before they finally released the iPhone. The current Apple TV should be seen like the ROKR from Motorola years before the iPhone was announced. These devices allow Apple to understand the strengths and weaknesses of market and find a way to create something that changes everything.
Steve Jobs understood that just creating another television wouldn’t be enough. That Apple needed something that no other competitor had to offer to consumers. He wanted to changed the way we interact with Televisions.
Steve Jobs Hates Buttons
One of the many things that Steve Jobs excelled at was making complicated things simple. While many individuals grew up with a mouse that had two or three buttons, Apple stuck to their single button approach until they found a way to remove the buttons all together. Starting with their notebook computers and more recently with the trackpads Apple has done everything it can to simplify the way we interact with our computers and phones.
Steve had mentioned previously how much he hated the number of buttons found on a TV remote. My guess is he wasn’t happy with Apple’s remote either and aimed for a user experience with no remote at all.
Apple TV & Siri
Controlling a Television without a physical remote didn’t seem possible until Apple released Siri on the iPhone 4S. Now, it is all too clear that using remotes to control your TV will be a thing of the past and will be replaced with voice recognition technology.
In fact, a number of developers have already hacked Siri to connect to their local server and do just that, control their television with their voice. The video below demonstrates how far they’ve already been able to take this technology.
If someone without direct access to the full Siri and iOS API library can make Siri work this well with controlling their television, imagine what Apple will be able to pull off. We anxiously await what Apple has to offer and the final product that Steve helped create.