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New prototype AppleTV visits ISPs up north, can be controlled only by voice or hand gestures

Canada’s largest newspaper, the Globe and Mail, today said Apple has been working with wireless and wireline providers including Rogers and Bell to partner with the AppleTV.

“They’re not closed to doing it with one [company] or doing it with two,” said one source who is familiar with the talks. “They’re looking for a partner. They’re looking for someone with wireless and broadband capabilities.” Another source, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Rogers and Bell already have the product in their labs.

More interestingly, some details of this new AppleTV are provided:

The product reportedly integrates Siri, Apple’s voice-recognition software that acts as a personal assistant on the latest iPhone, into television sets to help viewers make programming choices.

Viewers can then control the TV by voice or hand gestures, all from the comfort of a couch. An on-screen keyboard, meanwhile, can also be activated in a similar manner, allowing viewers to surf the web, conduct video chats and use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook – all without any physical interface.

The Globe and Mail goes on to quote analysts including Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek that we discussed earlier who also said Apple was collaborating with ISPs to deliver TV content to a next generation AppleTV. Perhaps the biggest proponent of an AppleTV outside of Cupertino, Gene Munster, gave his latest assessment of the situation last week, calling for one of three scenarios happening before the end of the year.

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