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Apple TV patent hints at live TV and new Siri capabilities

by Jacob Kleinman | May 10, 2016May 10, 2016 1:00 pm PST

The latest version of the Apple TV offers voice controls through Siri, letting you search for content, control what’s playing and more. But it turns out Apple may have had even bigger ambitions based on a newly published patent from the Cupertino company.

The patent, which was filed in 2014 and published on Tuesday, details a voice-based assistant that can control your TV-watching experience. It describes many of the search capabilities included in the current Apple TV, along with some features that apparently didn’t make the cut.

Apple mentions several features related to watching live television. For example, you could use voice controls to check program listings, record live video and quickly switch between different broadcasts. The current Apple TV doesn’t offer a live streaming service, but the company has reportedly been working on one for a while.

The patent also suggests that Siri could become smarter and better at understanding the intent of a voice command. Finally, it describes creating a network of devices connected to multiple TVs around the house so you can simply tell Siri to play a movie in the bedroom or living room depending on where you want to watch.

It’s possible some of these features could be coming in a future version of Apple TV or tvOS. This is just a patent, though, and when it comes to streaming live TV the company’s reportedly hit a brick wall. So we wouldn’t get too excited for now.

USPTO AppleInsider

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...