Apple filing depicts Apple TV with iChat widget interface

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
A new and discrete patent filing on the part of Apple Inc. portrays previously undisclosed versions of the company's Apple TV set-top-box software and remote control that make extensive use of widgets to facilitate everything from online chat to ordering concert tickets during a concert broadcast.



The August 2006 filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office spans some 39 pages, but bears some of its most enticing revelations as part of a discussion involving ways of associating Dashboard-like widgets with various kinds of video content.



Apple says such widgets could be displayed or become available based on the content currently displayed in the Apple TV user interface. If the content is broadcasted, such as live television, then a widget could potentially be downloaded as part of the broadcast signal from a cable head-end, or provided through a separate communication such as an Internet connection, and then displayed over the content.



The widget can also be downloaded at a different time than the broadcast signal and invoked by information contained in the broadcast signal, the company explained. Similarly, it could be triggered by some event , such as user interaction with a user interface element, or come included with the content on a storage medium such as a DVD.







"For example, while the user is viewing a musical performance a ticket widget can be displayed over the content or elsewhere in the user interface, which can be access by the user to purchase concert tickets or receive other information related to the concert or performer," Apple said. "In the example shown (below), the widget could be triggered by a marker in the content which corresponds with a portion of the concert where the performer is not performing, or can be based on a period of inactivity (e.g., the DVD player is placed on "pause"). In some implementations, the widget can be displayed as part of a DVD menu system."







In order to facilitate interaction with the widget, the Cupertino-based company proposes a revised version of its Apple Remote device that can include one or more generic buttons that can be programmed automatically or manually to interact with the widget.



"The mapping between the controls and various parameters of the widget can automatically change to correspond to the widget currently displayed in the user interface," the company said. "In the example shown, an remote control button assignment map is displayed in the user interface to remind the user of the current functions that are mapped to the generic controls. Alternatively, the remote control device can include dedicated controls that provide the same function for each widget displayed in the user interface."







Apple's filing also illustrates an exemplary process for displaying real-time information using a widget (above) in order to supplement broadcasted content, such as live sporting events. In such scenarios, Apple TV would be able to display a widget in the user interface that is capable of receiving and display in real-time the win/loss records of two baseball teams participating in the live broadcast of a baseball game.



Taking that concept a bit further, Apple also illustrated an process for providing live chat sessions using widgets on an Apple TV device. "In some scenarios, it may be desirable to discuss with others the content displayed in the user interface in real-time using one or more widgets," the company wrote. "In some implementations, the user can use the remote control device or other input device to start a video and/or audio conferencing application using widgets."







As an example of such a video conferencing application (above), Apple specifically mentioned iChat, but said that other video, audio or web conferencing technologies could also theoretically be used.



"For example, in some applications dialog windows can be opened in a multimedia center application for receiving instant messaging text with or without video feeds of the participants," the company said. "In some implementations, the widgets include drawers which can be pulled open to reveal various controls for adjusting video or audio."







Elaborating further on its Apple TV iChat concept, Apple said widget interface could also include is a list of individuals currently online, as well as other controls, such as links to web sites and other resources that include information that may be of interest to the participants.



Like its personal computer-based equivalent, Apple TV's version of iChat could host video chats with three simultaneous participants, either in a three-panel widget interface or as separate widgets.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Does this mean that Apple is trying to become the new TicketMAster?? It would be nice if we could get online with the ATV now rather then wait for a widget with its purpose being to buy more product and put even more $$ in Apple's pocket.
  • Reply 2 of 25
    What I think is more interesting is that this points at television and dvd compatibility... We should expect widgets, but I thought Steve was adamant about not doing TV and most "experts" are speculating about Apple leading the decline or obsoletion (sp?) of optical drives.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Can you even imagine trying to chat with someone using the remote? It takes 1 1/2 minutes just find something on YouTube!
  • Reply 4 of 25
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    Can you even imagine trying to chat with someone using the remote? It takes 1 1/2 minutes just find something on YouTube!



    video chat?



    anyway, all this and all i've been asking for is a simple weather widget on my bigscreen....lets start with the basics, Apple. It's already built in to the OS, sheesh.
  • Reply 5 of 25
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Very interesting. However I feel compelled to point out that this:



    "If the content is broadcasted, such as live television..."



    should actually read:



    "If the content is broadcast, ..."



    As to the person commenting that Apple doesn't want to get into TV, I think the patent could just as easily apply to internet broadcasts as it does cable if I read it correctly.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sandau View Post


    video chat?



    anyway, all this and all i've been asking for is a simple weather widget on my bigscreen....lets start with the basics, Apple. It's already built in to the OS, sheesh.



    Or Safari- hello? The iPhone and iTouch can have it but not this 160GB sandwich warmer?
  • Reply 7 of 25
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by asilentthing View Post


    What I think is more interesting is that this points at television and dvd compatibility... We should expect widgets, but I thought Steve was adamant about not doing TV and most "experts" are speculating about Apple leading the decline or obsoletion (sp?) of optical drives.



    You must be new because otherwise you would know he says one thing and does the other all the time.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    jupiteronejupiterone Posts: 1,564member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    Can you even imagine trying to chat with someone using the remote? It takes 1 1/2 minutes just find something on YouTube!



    Maybe a new remote. One that is all screen like the iPhone/Touch. One that changes it's "buttons" based on what's on the screen?
  • Reply 9 of 25
    I love the idea of additional data streams accompanying hd broadcasts. I'm just suprised it has taken this long.
  • Reply 10 of 25
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    I hope this portends an overhaul of the Dashboard subsystem. It, sadly, appears to be largely untouched in Leopard. So much more could be done with Dashboard in OS X. Hello? Dashboard Spaces? The idea is practically a no-brainer.
  • Reply 11 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post


    Maybe a new remote. One that is all screen like the iPhone/Touch. One that changes it's "buttons" based on what's on the screen?



    The Remote 'IS' the iPhone/Touch
  • Reply 12 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by asilentthing View Post


    What I think is more interesting is that this points at television and dvd compatibility... We should expect widgets, but I thought Steve was adamant about not doing TV and most "experts" are speculating about Apple leading the decline or obsoletion (sp?) of optical drives.



    WIth everyone suing every 10 seconds these days, Apple is better off putting down every aspect or possibility they discussed, even if they decided not to take that road (...yet?).
  • Reply 13 of 25
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    I think the patent could just as easily apply to internet broadcasts as it does cable if I read it correctly.



    Probably refers to content from iTunes store.
  • Reply 14 of 25
    Did anyone else notice games in the first menu?



    I've always thought Apple TV would be a great avenue for games to be played on your TV which you'd download and store in your computer. All you'd really need is a Wii-like controller and sufficient hard drive space to store the games you want. It would be a sweet addition for Apple TV and you wouldn't need a separate game console anymore.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    Where is this Apple company actually located???
  • Reply 16 of 25
    It's been more than a week or two since Steve told us about it... where in the world is the new content and the software upgrade for the apple tv?
  • Reply 17 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregoriusM View Post


    Where is this Apple company actually located???



    I don't know. They must be -based somewhere.
  • Reply 18 of 25
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post


    I don't know. They must be -based somewhere.



    In the land of WOZ!
  • Reply 19 of 25
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onceuponamac View Post


    It's been more than a week or two since Steve told us about it... where in the world is the new content and the software upgrade for the apple tv?



    Should come Tuesday - if not, us AppleTV owners will come after him with pitchforks!
  • Reply 20 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Should come Tuesday - if not, us AppleTV owners will come after him with pitchforks!



    So... Steve meant a week plus two - not a week or two! I'll have to find my pitchfork.
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