x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Handy innovation

If even massaging the remote is too much effort, rejoice in the anticipated new Apple TV, which will respond to voice commands and even gestures.

Couch potatoes, rejoice. It may have served you well for generations, but soon even your trusty remote control could be going the way all things analogue.

Last week word came that Apple is in the process of yet again revolutionising how we consume information by introducing a television set that will respond to its viewers' shouts and gesticulations. The new iTV will function in a way similar to the new iPhones, using voice recognition. Then it will go further.

Additionally iTV will reportedly have the functionality of effortlessly transferring content between different Apple products through users' hand gestures. A real-life Minority Report sometime next year.

How these televisions react to tearing your hair out watching your favourite football team, or to screaming at the set while watching X-Factor, remains to be seen. But at least smashed remote controls will become a thing of the past.

"I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use," Steve Jobs said in a biography after his death. "It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."

For someone who has changed the entertainment industry repeatedly over the last two decades, his greatest achievement may yet turn out to be the one he never got to witness.