An unnamed source who clams to have served hands-on time with Apple's rumored iTV (working title) says the device is similar in appearance to the current line of LED-backlit Cinema Displays, but much bigger. It also has a built-in iSight camera for making video calls via FaceTime, and Siri the virtual assistant which has been made popular by the iPhone 4S.
According to CultofMac, the source said that the working prototype is the same exact device Steve Jobs was talking about when he said he had "cracked TV" last year. Thanks to the built-in iSight camera, the HDTV features facial recognition that can zoom in and follow the user as they walk around the room (it's watching you). That means the end user can sit on the couch and make a call from across the room rather than in the HDTV's face.
Calls are initiated by Siri, the source said, but didn't go into much detail after that. Actually, nothing else was offered up by the contact for that matter, although thanks to this new report, we now have a good idea what it will look like and that it can follow our movements wherever we go. Perhaps Apple should name it HAL 1000 (1st-gen, not 9th) and give it a male voice?
Up until now, very little is known about the iTV project. We know Steve Jobs wanted to change the entertainment world with the device, and appeared to have struck gold with the creation of Siri. The device will supposedly feature motion controls and voice commands for remote control-free browsing and access, and the service itself is expected to stretch across all Apple devices if the company can wrangle the appropriate rights from content holders.
Designing iTV to match Apple's Cinema Displays makes sense, keeping the company's video output devices on the same aesthetic plane. One would assume that iTV would have both HDMI and PC imports so that end-users can connect their Macs and PCs directly to the device. The range in size will reportedly be from 32-inches to 55-inches.
As always, take these reports with a grain of salt. There has been no official announcement although we know the intent is there. System specs, Siri's actual integration, the interface, pricing and release schedule are all still unknown factors at this point.