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The existing Apple TV peripheral and on-screen interface.

Apple is moving forward with plans for its own television set, according to a Wall Street Journal report today, citing unnamed people familiar with discussions between Apple executives and big media companies. Steve Jobs hinted at this at when he told biographer Walter Isaacson that he had “finally cracked it” and come up with a breakthrough television interface.

The WSJ report points out several of the features that Apple is talking about. Here’s a rundown …

  • Apple is “working on its own television that relies on wireless streaming technology to access shows, movies and other content.”
  • Apple’s technology will “recognize users across phones, tablets and TVs.”
  • “In at least one meeting, Apple described future television technology that would respond to users’ voices and movements, one of the people said. Such technology, which Apple indicated may take longer than some of its other ideas, might allow users to use their voices to search for a show or change channels.”
  • “The company, for example, has discussed new ways they could stream media companies’ content, allowing a user to watch a video on a TV set, then pick up another device, such as a smartphone, and keep watching the video on the move, one of the people familiar said.”

In other words, it’s a bunch of stuff that we’ve seen before, ranging from Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect voice and gesture controls, to the popular feature of resuming a movie across devices on Netflix and other services.

Of course, Apple is legendary for taking stuff we thought we knew — phones, music players, tablets, etc. — and reinventing them in ways that disrupt markets. But it’s getting a little odd when features this run-of-the-mill are revealed through anonymous sources.

Apple may be coming up with the greatest television ever made, but based on this, at least, there’s no need to delay that holiday TV purchase.

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