‘Apple TV Air’ Concept Turns Apple’s Black Box Into A Dongle

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The last Apple TV concept we saw had us swooning for a redesigned Apple remote/gaming pad, but if Apple decides to reduce the Apple TV’s size to take on the Chromecast and the new Roku stick, this Apple TV Air concept from Curved might be spot on.

Rather than running an HDMI cable to Apple’s little black box, the Apple TV Air concept would plug directly into your HDMI port, allowing you to instantly beam video from your iPhone to your big screen TV over AirPlay.

Take a look:

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Curved’s concept would reduce the Apple TV’s size down to about half of that of the current remote. It’d look more like an iPod Nano than the past three generations of the Apple TV.

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The dongle would be powered through HDMI, while the remote keeps its small changeable battery. Apple would have to add Bluetooth LE support rather than IR now that the device isn’t visible.

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Ditching aluminum for plastic to reduce cost, the Apple TV Air would be sold together for $49 as the cheapest option to get AirPlay and Apple TV, so that Apple can compete directly with Chromecast and Roku, while a set-top box would also be sold at a much higher cost with advanced features.

  • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

    Good concept, but the HDMI connector should be on a swivel so that it can be flat or right angled. This will be very helpful for TVs that only have HDMI ports that stick out from the back of the TV, so that the new Apple TV isn’t jutting out 3 or 4 inches into space (especially problematic with wall mounted TVs).

  • bjamesreed

    Please no. If my Apple TV remote were any smaller I would never find it after misplacing it twice a day

    • Mark Langston

      Amen to that!! It’s obvious this designer has never considered what it’s like to actually use a remote control this small. It looks cool as a 3D model but when you have to actually use something this small it’ll either get lost or you won’t be able to properly balance it in your hand while you make selections.

      I much prefer the touch concept to this midget-sized controller. Not really a fan of a dongle but wouldn’t be surprised if Apple follows both Google and Roku.

    • James Gunaca

      Just use your iPhone or iPad if you got ‘em!

  • Eduardo

    I want an Apple TV remote that is basically the same as the current one, but with a touch wheel like previous iPod models, it would make navigating (and typing) much easier, without having to look (like when you use an iPhone with the Remote app) or too many clicks as I keep having to do currently. Oh and I guess it’d need to be rechargeable as well.

    • James Gunaca

      I just stick to using my iPhone or iPad in place of the remote which I too often lose.

  • Patrick Folger

    Like the concept. Also like idea of having this and an option for a bigger apple tv ( like current one ) that’ll have many more features

  • TJ

    Apple is in the business of creating beautiful hardware, they’re not going to create some crappy dongle that gets shoved out of sight behind your TV. Interesting concept though, but I don’t see Apple going the dongle route at all.

  • RubenArtz

    I think the idea that Apple’s original remote control will be combined with the key, which will be thin and tapered like the current one with the HDMI socket on the bottom, and the dongle will follow the line of the remote …

  • heaby808

    This is a nice concept but I highly doubt apple would make a dongle. By making a dongle any wider than the HDMI port it’s self could cause you to block neighboring ports on the tv which would be a big NO-NO. I think we’ll get a box similar (maybe aluminum?) that cots $100-$150. Maybe they won’t even sell it with a remote in the box in efforts to push people to use their other iDevices to control it. The iPhone/iPad/iPods all have gyroscopes and touch screens that could easily be used as light gaming pads for simple games and family games. For heavier gaming? Maybe since apple released gamepad support with iOS7 they’ll lean towards 3rd party devs to make those or even make a controller of their own! Purely speculation of course.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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