Apple Patent Surfaces Showing Content-Aware Widgets For Big-Screen TVs

Posted in Apple News on 23/06/2011 by J. Glenn Künzler


Following up on yesterday’s report of a possible Apple HDTV this fall, an interesting Apple patent has come to light showing what content-aware widgets might be like on an HDTV – read on!

Many set-top boxes have tried something similar to this – allowing you to display weather, news, pictures, social networking and other content from a central menu, but what would it be like if you could pull app all of that information without interrupting what you are currently watching?

The latest Apple patent application, pictured in the above images (via PatentlyApple), addresses this issue in an interesting way – by introducing content-aware widgets that could be accessed while viewing other content. The widgets could supposedly retrieve your location, and then use it to provide personalized information, and could even interact with certain channels or specific television shows.

PatentlyApple sums the matter up nicely:

Apple’s paradigm involves taking widgets to the next level of live widgets that will interact with TV shows like NBC’s “The Voice” so that users could directly vote for their favorite candidates from their HDTV effortlessly. The system will also work with live sports like football with other live content is in the works. The system still involves Apple’s AppleTV set-top-box but with a twist. It will finally hook up with regular Cable TV networks.

A properly designed system for widgets on an HDTV could really enhance the television experience for a lot of users, and if anyone could design something like that, it’d be Apple. I find the idea curious, but personally doubt it will ever truly come to fruition as a full-fledged Apple-branded HDTV.

What are your thoughts on this? As always, sound off in the comments!


J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.