Apple has reportedly dropped plans to create an Ultra High Definition TV, but the company is not yet ditching the market completely. New rumours and a recent patent filing demonstrates the tech giant’s commitment to its Apple TV set-top box.

Rumours surrounding Apple’s plans to make a complete TV reached fever pitch when it was revealed in Steve Jobs’ biography that the company had finally ‘cracked’ the ultimate TV UI.

Now, with Steve Jobs gone, the company is moving past the era of its most famous CEO – with new products like the Apple Watch and iPhone 6 all created under the stewardship of Tim Cook.

Tim Cook is reported to have axed a 55in and 65in television set that would have come complete with FaceTime video calling cameras due to the products not having a key feature that would stand out from other TV manufacturers.

Having ditched its TV plans a year ago, the WSJ is now reporting that it has no plans to enter the market anytime soon and instead has switched its focus back to the company’s Apple TV set-top box.

The company demonstrated this commitment by making the Apple TV the centre of HomeKit; the home automation platform that runs on iOS devices.

Now, a new patent has surfaced which could demonstrate Apple’s plans to revolutionise the market; with the iPhone maker set to bring TouchID to its TV remote.

As if often the case with patents, the description is rather broad, referring to a ‘sensor configured to detect a biometric characteristic of a user’. The patent also points towards other innovations to remote control technology, including iris detection and voice sensing.

So what would the biometric authentication be used for? According to the patent it could be utilised for recognising a certain user and then delivering the content relevant to the person holding the remote at the time; including their favourite TV channels or movies.

The fingerprint sensor could also be used in conjunction with Apple’s home automation system, like changing the thermostat temperature to the liking of the user holding the remote.

Despite endless possibilities for a fingerprint sensor on a TV remote, a patent filing should not be indication that the company has anything planned anytime soon. As with all patents and rumours, take this story with a pinch of salt until official word comes from Apple.

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