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Apple Patents Hint at Videoconferencing in iTV

February 4, 2013 | Telepresence Options

apple-itv-mockup.jpg

Ashleigh Allsopp, Computer world

A new Apple patent application reveals details of an enhanced audio system that could accompany the widely speculated Apple television set, dubbed 'iTV'. Meanwhile, reports from China are suggesting that Apple is working on three iTV models.

A new Apple patent application reveals details of an enhanced audio system that could accompany the widely speculated Apple television set, dubbed 'iTV'. Meanwhile, reports from China are suggesting that Apple is working on three iTV models.

In a patent application published on Thursday, Apple describes a sound system that could be launched as part of Apple's iTV. The intelligent system could determine where a user is in a room, and if they are not within the optimum range, the processor could modify the audio output, says the application. It could also adjust based on which way the user is facing, and the environment that the user is in.

Apple says that the invention could take the form of a system for providing an enhanced audio experience for laptop, tablet, smartphone, and television users, for example, reports Apple Insider.

The system could also be used for advanced video conferencing, a feature that has already been rumoured to be on its way with the iTV. The user could participate in a FaceTime call that would be able to use the audio system to make voices from various participants sound as if they are coming from the direction they're positioned on the screen.

Apple's patent also explains that an image processing unit within the audio system could use face recognition and eye tracking to also help improve audio quality during FaceTime calls, enabling the microphone to be directed towards the speaker's mouth automatically.

It is currently unknown whether Apple will implement this enhanced audio system in a future product, but new reports suggest that the company is currently working on three television sets of different shapes and sizes, two of which are ready to enter production.

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