Apple has a clever idea that could make Apple TV a lot better

Apple is exploring ways to make the Apple TV experience much more personalised, according to a new patent application.

The document, which was published on July 23, details a system that would allow you to log in and out of an Apple TV with just your fingerprint.

The patent isn’t specific to Apple TV, but Apple does cite a set-top box as a primary example. The illustration within the patent application also shows a TV remote control, hinting that Apple is primarily thinking about this technology for its streaming set top box.

Based on the document’s language, it sounds like Apple wants to make it easy to log in and out of a device like Apple TV without having to type in login credentials. You’d simply hold your fingerprint over a sensor or use a voice command to log into your profile.

Here’s what Apple writes in the patent application (emphasis is our own). The company acknowledges how annoying it can be to type in a password using a remote control.

In such cases a user may be required to provide a log in and/or password in order to enter the user account and access the personalised experience. Such may be annoying and/or burdensome to users and such annoyance or burden may be magnified when a user is attempting to utilise the electronic device via one or more remote control devices.

Once you’re logged into your profile, you’d see a personalised interface catered to you. The application says that this could include providing access to certain apps or settings and changing the way the interface looks. It sounds like this would be ideal for a children’s mode or guest mode.

Apple TV doesn’t really offer options like this today. You can log in and out of the Apple TV with your Apple ID, but that really only matters for purchases in the iTunes store.

AppleTVPatentUSPTO.govA drawing from Apple’s patent application.

Apple also points out that technology for remotely controlling devices with a fingerprint or some other type of biometric could be useful for different devices, too. The patent application lists desktop computers, laptops, and smartphones as well as kitchen appliances, cars, and lighting systems — hinting that Apple could be thinking about this tech for HomeKit or CarPlay. Since it’s just a patent application, there’s no real evidence that Apple will actually release a product such as a TV remote with a fingerprint sensor. Apple patents different products, designs, and types of technology all the time with no guarantee that these ideas will actually come to market.

It’s still interesting, though, given the rumours that Apple is planning to release a new Apple TV in the near future with an improved remote control.

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