A strange but compelling new twist has been added to slowly-swelling Apple television rumors, this time by analyst Brian White from Topeka Capital Markets. Topeka says Apple is indeed on track to launch a new TV set late in 2013 and it will come, as promised, with a revolutionary new control interface.
AppleInsider.com reports that Topeka heard from Apple suppliers that the control interface will be an "iRing" accessory, which would allow the TV set to map the movements of the viewer's hands as they make control gestures in the air.
It's possible the rumored iWatch could tie into the same interface system.
Furthermore, Topeka says the iTV will share content to a mini TV screen that happens to be 9.7 inches across...the same size as an iPad screen. As well as performing content sharing functions, this screen will also make phone or video calls, perform security tasks, and so on—essentially acting as a home "hub". It's very much not an iPad though, though it may borrow key components of iPad mobile tech to take the Apple TV experience elsewhere in the home.
The package could cost between $1,500 and $2,500, depending on the number of secondary screens desired, and the main screen will be in the 50- to 60-inch range.
This is a wild rumor, but Topeka is presenting it with confidence after a tour of Apple's suppliers. In many ways, this rumor relates to previous Apple TV rumors that mention a radical interface, and taps into the gestural control vogue as products like Leap Motion are going on sale.
Apple certainly seems to be very busy at the moment—it has not released any new hardware in its newly freed up Spring launch window, and the advances that are planned for the iPhone 5S seem incremental, rather than demanding the attention of a huge design team.
Separate rumors suggest Apple is extraordinarily busy with a radical overhaul of iOS7, which is ready to the point that engineers are testing it in the field. The new OS is heavily influenced by design chief Jon Ive and is said to have disposed of the awkward skeuomorphism of existing iOS code. But even if Apple is busy working on this code, of course, its hardware teams would be free to tackle a television set.
Does this rumor have a ring of truth for you? Does the idea of an Apple TV appeal even more now?
[Image: Flickr user biscuitsmlp]