Future Apple TV remote could switch between controlling different devices by pointing

The Apple TV remote could gain UWB functionality in a future model, enabling you to point the remote at different accessories to quickly switch between things like TVs and Hi-Fi receivers.


  • Apple’s new patent outlines an UWB-enhanced Apple TV remote.
  • You would point it at different devices to switch between them.
  • The 2021 Apple TV remote model lacks UWB functionality.

Apple's promotional image showing the redesigned Siri Remote from 2021

Apple’s patent envisions a remote with UWB functionality

That’s according to the patent titled “Location systems for electronic device interactions with environment,” granted to Apple by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

It proposes an Apple TV remote featuring ultra-wideband (UWB) networking which would permit the user to simply aim the remote to another device like a television set or their home stereo system to quickly and seamlessly switch between controlling those devices.

The remote would offer device-specific controls.

Now, the redesigned Apple TV remote lacks Apple’s U1 chip for UWB functionality despite it being a logical addition. Currently, Apple devices with UWB functionality include the latest Apple Watch Series 6, the iPhone 11 and 12 lineups, HomePod mini and its AirTag item tracker.

An iPhone with UWB already supports cool features

The patent also mentions interactivity features that could be implemented on an UWB-equipped iPhone. In such a scenario, an iPhone could display a custom interface and relevant information from an UWB-enabled accessory without requiring any action from the user.

In one instance, an iPhone could display control icons when pointed at a supported piece of electronic equipment. That being said, however, it appears that the Cupertino company is already using this for enhanced Handoff interactions between the iPhone and HomePod mini.

Yet another embodiment extends this to augmented reality, with an iPhone displaying a corresponding virtual object when pointed at a physical object like a painting in the museum.

For further information about the new Apple patent, visit the USPTO website.