Hands off my remote! New patent hints at Touch ID for Apple TV

Apple TV remote patent

The next time you touch an Apple TV remote it may know more about you than you know about it.

The US Patent and Trademark Office recently published three new patents filed by the Cupertino company back in January 2014 that outline a new touch-capacitive remote for use with secondary device - the example provided being a TV.

Like the iPhone 5S, 6 and 6 Plus, the remote would have a built-in biometric sensor that could be used in a variety of ways with the set-top device.

Apple enthusiast website Appleinsider hypothesizes that the touch sensor could be used to turn on the system and, by using the fingerprint-scanner, simultaneously load up a custom user profile with personalized recommendations and settings.

This isn't the first we've heard of a new remote. Rumors surfaced in May of this year that Apple would possibly package a touch-capacitive controller alongside the next iteration of the Apple TV when it comes out - the timing of which is still TBD.

Many pundits, including us here at TechRadar, still believe that an autumn 2015 launch could still be in the works. But with Apple Music taking over much of the company's bandwidth at the moment, it could be as late as 2016 until we get the iTV update we've been dreaming of.

  • Sure, it's not the next Apple TV, but at least we have HBO Now...
Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.