Apple TV’s “Magic Wand”

Apple TV’s “Magic Wand”: Matthew Panzarino:

To control the new Apple TV? A new remote. One major feature of which was pretty much nailed by Brian Chen in an article earlier this year. It’s slightly bigger and thicker, with physical buttons on the bottom half, a Touchpad area at the top and a Siri microphone. Info about this remote was included in a report by Mark Gurman earlier this month, along with some other information we’ve confirmed about the new Apple TV.

One thing that hasn’t been talked about yet is the fact that the new remote will be motion sensitive, likely including several axis’ worth of sensors that put its control on par with a Nintendo Wii remote. The possibilities, of course, are immediately evident.

A game controller with a microphone, physical buttons, a touchpad and motion sensitive controls would be extremely capable. While Apple is likely to target the broad casual gaming market, I would not be shocked to see innovative gameplay blossom from that type of input possibility. Think, for instance, of multi-player gaming with several people using voice input, or many popular genres of party games that would do far better on the TV than on an iPad or iPhone.

People have been sleeping on this new remote, but it seems likely to be one of the keys to both the device and perhaps the SDK itself (at least in terms of gaming). In the past, I had heard whispers of both a “magic wand” and a “touch glass” remote – it sure sounds like Apple figured out a way to combine the two.

Remote controls are the way people interact with television but the vast majority of them – in particular, the ones made by cable box manufacturers – are pieces of shit with a zillion buttons. The current Apple TV remote is elegant in a typical Apple way, but has the opposite problem: it’s way too sparse (have you ever tried typing to search on that thing?). Something more like this may be ideal. With a microphone for Siri and, of course, an accelerometer and gyroscope. 

And yes, like Panzarino, I 100% agree that the push to launch this thing without Apple’s actual television service in place is the best possible way to get those deals done. Leverage.