However, in the invitation Apple coyly suggested one should ask Siri, its voice-activated digital assistant, for a hint about what will be happening.
For some, that doesn't point to the iPhone, but a revamped version of Apple TV. We should note that Apple faked out everyone out, including the New York Times, about the product earlier in the year. The update to the set-top box was supposed to be shown at June's Worldwide Developer Conference, but it never appeared.
However, the new Apple TV should show up this time around.
However, informed speculation about the remote that controls the box has been spiking in the last few days. This sort of controlled leaking to a favored few is typical of Apple. It drives up interest in the event, but preserves Apple's deniability.
The new remote is thought to have a touchpad, two buttons, and a built-in microphone. Internal motion sensors are also thought to be present, which would allow the remote's use as a game controller.
Called "Apple Bluetooth Remote.kext," the file seems a reference to a new Bluetooth remote control. This new hardware device integrates a dedicated Bluetooth wireless chip that can connect with devices through an infrared sensor. It also features a multi-touch trackpad with inertial scrolling support.
This all agrees with the buzz so far. The device also appears to support audio, which could indicate either playback or input for Siri.
That audio input to Siri will make possible one of the buzziest features of Apple TV that has been circulating: universal search.
Universal search would mean that a single search would show content from a host of services, not just those from Apple.
For example, one could search for a movie title and see all the services that offer it, not just the listing on the iTunes store.
Lending credence to this idea is Apple's purchase in 2013 of matcha.tv. Matcha.tv was an iOS app that provided a comprehensive overview of everything that's available to watch through cable television providers, streaming video services, and digital video stores.
Also, the app could manage what was watched from a universal queue, get video recommendations, and connect with social networks to see what your friends were watching or liking.
During the 2013 acquisition, Matcha co-founder and CEO Guy Piekarz told TechCrunch that the company was not "shutting down." However, it has not offered any publicly available products since then.
Apple already has the captive technology in place to make a universal search happen in its new iteration of Apple TV, and that kind of search would fit in with Apple's state goal of making a better TV interface.
Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek. He has written a book on the Secure Electronic Transaction Internet ... View Full Bio
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