Apple VP says new Siri Remote was inspired by the iPod click wheel

With new Apple products available to all customers, Apple VP of Product Marketing for Home and Audio Tim Twerdahl sat with Express to talk about the new “future-proofing” Apple TV 4K and its second-generation Siri Remote, which was inspired by the iPod.

One of the things customers were expecting the most about a new Apple TV was a redesigned Siri Remote. In fact, in a poll conducted by 9to5Mac with our readers, almost 30% of them were only planning to buy the new Siri Remote to use with their older Apple TV.

According to Twerdahl, in this new interview, he took a look back in the first remotes for on-demand formats: “If you think about it, since we first had on-demand formats, like the VCRs and DVDs, we’ve been stuck with those 2X, 4X, 8X kind of control speeds and it’s just not very intuitive or useful. You always overshoot and then try to get back to a point.”

“Once we came up with this circular design we thought it looked a lot like the iPod quick wheel, so what could do that could really help people with their TV using an interface like that? The scrubbing of the video came as such a natural thing, professional editors often use these jog-style controls, which are quite powerful, and it’s really nice to bring this into people’s living room.

Still about the new Siri Remote, Apple VP explained how the company created a simple and universal remote:

“There are some standards over HDMI there are some standards that use Infra-Red. And so we have to sort of negotiate and figure out what the best way to do that for any given TV is. The key is that it’s just about simplicity for customers. We’ll do all the hard work and the heavy lifting in the background.”

He also praised Siri on the new Remote, as the virtual assistance has a dedicated button on the right-hand side of it:

“We want to make it super easy to engage with Apple TV regardless of your comfort level. If you hit the Siri button on your remote and don’t say anything some suggestions will cycle through on the TV screen to help you understand the kinds of things you could say. By moving the Siri button to the side – where it is on your iPhone – we’re hoping that also reinforces with people as you can do exactly the same kind of things on your iPhone as your Apple TV remote.”

Apart from the “magical experience” Apple wants to give its users with the Siri Remote, Tim Twerdahl said the new Apple TV 4K is ready for the future, as it pushes a new standard of HDR:

“There is a little bit of a chicken and egg issue which is, why produce the content if nobody can watch it?” Twerdahl said. “I think we’re taking a great step forward with Apple TV 4K offering high frame rate support and it will be an incentive to create more and more of this content.

“For example, here in the US a couple of years ago, they started producing the Super Bowl in high frame rate HDR. And we’re seeing more and more. We really want the product to be ready for the future and the great news is we’re out there working with all of these top providers around the world to bring high frame rate content, especially for sports.

On Friday, the executive was interviewed by Mobile Syrup and talked about how Apple is committed to home audio products, ‘little need’ for Find My Remote feature.