Emerging technologies are interesting, but what people care about (judging from our web traffic) is the new products Apple is rumoured to be working on. Top of the list for the past few years -and pushed further into the rumour mill by Steve Jobs' comments to his biographer that he had "finally cracked" it - was television. This time last year speculation about Apple's plans for a television set was on the rise. Mind you we'd featured similar speculation a year previously based on claims that an Apple television set was already in production. And yet, at the end of 2013, Apple still hasn't released a television set.
There are a number of reasons for the no-show in the TV space. One is that Apple is already addressing the TV space in the form of the Apple TV set-top box, which has seen some software updates this year, including the introduction of HBO Go, ESPN, and NFL content to its interface in the US, and the Sky News channel here in the UK. We're still waiting for iPlayer to appear on the Apple TV though. Another reason for the lack of an actual TV could be the fact that there are a number of issues that would need to be addressed including the stiff competition from on-demand and monthly subscription services, and the shear amount of space that television screens would take up in an Apple Store.
Apple may also be waiting for the price of the technology required for 4K screens to reduce in price. Currently TVs with this technology have prices no lower than £3,000.
Reports this time last year were suggesting that Apple might utilise Siri for voice control of the Apple television. There were also rumours that Apple could integrate a Microsoft Kinect-like gesture control module into the TV - with the company providing that technology, JDSU, claiming that it had a new customer for its gesture recognition-business that many speculated was Apple. Looking back, the recent news that Apple has bought PrimeSense, the company that made the Kinect for Microsoft, is all the more interesting.
Speaking of Siri, last year we noted that it was underused and undervalued, with even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak criticising Apple's Siri personal assistant. We expected Apple to give Siri some attention, and it did finally come out of beta, but it really didn't gain much.
The other expectation was that Apple would build gaming into the Apple TV, with rumours that Tim Cook had been talking to Steam. While there's been no new evidence of gaming on the Apple TV, it's an area that continues to attract speculation.
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