Ever since Apple (AAPL) debuted the Apple TV set-top box, rumors have been circulating that the company was working on an Apple television — an iTV.
But so far, those rumors have failed to produce an actual product. Maybe Steve Jobs’ death doomed the product, or maybe Apple has been too busy arguing over the name of its next iPhone, but whatever the reason, consumers have yet to see a glimpse of a tangible, physical product.
But they might not have to wait much longer.
The Verge is reporting that Apple has made an offer to buy Primesense, the company that developed the 3D-scanning and motion-tracking technology in Microsoft’s (MSFT) Kinect sensor. The Xbox One announcement demonstrated just how far that technology has come, allowing users to switch TV channels and inputs with simple gestures.
Quartz speculates that Apple is eying the technology to develop a seamless TV experience where the only remote is your hand. That, combined with ad-skipping technology and a possible store of on-demand content could revolutionize TV-watching the way the iPod changed the way people listen to music.
But this is all chips and processors, right? Nothing that points to an actual television.
It seemed that way until DigiTimes reported that Apple is in talks with LG to supply the screens for the upcoming iTV. If true, this would be the first solid evidence that an iTV is on the way. As CNET wisely points out, LG is a good choice because it keeps Apple away from smartphone rival Samsung (SSNLF), which produces a plethora of Android devices.
If Apple manages to release an iTV that seamlessly integrates these features, it could be a major hit. Samsung, LG and Sony (SNE) have already released smart TVs, and sales are expected to double in the next three years. Add in Apple’s tech cult status, and those figures could rise even faster.
Nonetheless, there’s still no official word from Apple beyond CEO Tim Cook saying the company had a “grand vision” in place.
Adam Benjamin is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.