Apple is rumoured to be working on a TV that uses 'mixed reality'. According to tech evangelist Robert Scoble, the TV has been in the works since Steve Jobs helmed the company, and will be launched within a year.
Mixed reality is a mixture of virtual reality (VR) and standard reality encompassing augmented reality (AR) and augmented virtuality. It means that virtual objects and characters can appear in a live video stream of the real world, and allows for far greater possibilities than standard VR or AR.
How it would work in a TV isn't immediately clear.
According to Scobles, Apple has 600 engineers on the project. Just before he died, Steve Jobs claimed to have invented the future of TV, but so far, Apple has only released the Apple TV streaming box.
Scobles claims the TV will feature a sensor made by PrimeSense, the company behind the Kinect Sensor for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console.
"Tim Cook and Steve Jobs, I believe, sat down and talked about the future of TV and in 11 months they are going to show you the future of TV – because they are building the PrimeSense sensor right into the television, into the iPad and into the iPhone, so you can do this kind of mixed reality," he said.
"Apple has 600 engineers working on it," he added. "There was a patent released this morning – they've been working on mixed reality, or augmented reality, for five years... minimum."
The patent in question involves an AR mapping system for the iPhone, offering real-time augmented views of a real-life environment.