Will an A5 Processor in The Apple TV Pave The Way for Siri?


Photo by soonshyang - http://bit.ly/pgp6wA
Photo by soonshyang - http://bit.ly/pgp6wA

References in Apple’s iOS 5 software sparked speculation over the weekend that suggested an upcoming refresh to the Apple TV could introduce the company’s latest dual-core processor. While that would allow the device to playback content in 1080p, it could also pave the way for a Siri assistant on our TVs.

Cross Research analyst Shannon Cross issued a note to clients last week in which she describes the benefit that Siri would have on our Apple TVs:

One interesting application of the Siri technology would be with Apple TV (either the existing device or actual TV’s that Apple may launch). We think this would solve the industry’s difficulties with remote controls… We think it would be very compelling to own a TV or a device that could quickly answer the request, “I want to watch the Yankees/Red Sox game,” by changing the TV channel without requiring the user to look at a guide or use a remote control, or even specifying HD or standard definition feeds, since you would want the HD channel if available. Or, you could instruct the device to record all new episodes of a show, without leaving the program you are currently watching. Finally, since you are online, a Siri enabled TV could answer whether your iPhone or computer has received a new message, and let you respond accordingly.

While we would usually take analyst ‘notes’ with a shovel full of salt, 9to5Mac believes Cross could be onto something: The introduction of Siri would require a hardware update to the Apple TV. We know that the iPhone 4 didn’t get Siri because it wasn’t powerful enough, and so the Apple TV would need Apple’s super speedy A5 chip, too — which we already know is in testing at Apple HQ, thanks to those references in the iOS 5 firmware.

However, it won’t just stop at our TVs according to the report: Siri will also arrive on the iPad 2 and our Macs. We know that these devices are certainly capable of handling Siri, and while Siri’s impressive on the iPhone, can you imagine what it could do for you on your Mac? So why don’t we already have it on these devices?

Well, as 9to5Mac points out, Siri is still just a beta on the iPhone 4S, so it’s likely that once that beta comes to an end, we’ll see Siri extended to other Apple devices. The report also explains the advantages of Bluetooth 4.0 in the new iPhone:

Apple upgraded the iPhone 4S to Bluetooth 4.0 which could let the phone talk to Bluetooth 4.0 accessories at an extremely low power mode up to 50 meters away. Plus, Bluetooth 4.0 can also wake devices from sleep. This would theoretically enable Siri accessories to act as the real-world agents for Siri, allowing you to open garage doors, turn on the lights, set room temperature, interact with your home stereo system and more – just by talking to your phone.

I’m super excited about Siri on the new iPhone, but the thought of Siri on my iPad and my Mac as well is even more exciting. I spend around 10 hours a day in front of my computer, so I’ve already gotten used to talking to it. The day it actually listens to me and talks back with be just magical.


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