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Apple TV with a Camera May Enable Advanced Air Gestures for Controls

Apple TV with a Camera May Enable Advanced Air Gestures for Controls

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Before the Vision Pro headset was even launched, Apple has already been rumored to be working on a future version of its Apple TV set-top box that has built-in cameras and sensors. This is iterated in the latest report and further sheds light on the new features of the device.

FaceTime-ready Apple TV

In the latest Power On newsletter of Mark Gurman, the leaker described this next-gen Apple TV equipped with a camera and sensors and that support in-air gesture-based control functions, removing the need for a remote controller for input and navigation.

With an added camera, it will add FaceTime calls without the use of an iPhone or iPad as an external webcam for compatible Apple TV models. Essentially, the external webcam feature was first introduced in iOS 17 and tvOS 17 which also comes with FaceTime reactions that use predefined gestures to generate certain effects such as thumbs up or down during video calls.

Is Apple finally bringing desktop mode to the iPhone?

But what’s more interesting is that the journalists talked of the Apple TV with camera working “seamlessly” with an iPhone and Vision Pro. It’s unclear what Gurman means of this part, but it might well refer to extending the interface of an iPhone or Vision Pro headset into the TV. If it pans out, it will likely mimic a desktop mode akin to Samsung’s DeX or the upcoming Android feature that Google plans to debut in Android 15.

Apple's TV to support Vision Pro gestures
Apple shows how Vision Pro’s hand tracking features is going to work on Apple TV, iPad, and MacBook. / © Patently Apple

This is not the first time that an Apple TV with camera has been mentioned. Back last year, Apple was spotted filing a patent to the US Patent and Trademark Office that relates to using an Apple Watch as an extra sensor to enable gesture-based controls with paired with an Apple TV. But since then, we haven’t heard any clues that this technology has progressed. With that, an Apple TV with a camera is more plausible to arrive first.

In addition to an upgraded Apple TV, the Cupertino tech giant has been rumored to launch a HomePod with an iPad-like integrated touchscreen while an earlier concept of the Apple smart speaker even boasts a front-facing camera. The speaker is dubbed as the HomePod 3 and expected to be released in 2024.

What are your thoughts on an Apple TV with a camera? Do you think it will create privacy concerns for users? We want to hear your answers in the comments.

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