My biggest complaint about the current Apple TV system is the tiny, unfriendly remote. But according to Patently Apple, there might be some changes in store.

A patent that was originally filed in the fourth quarter of 2007 and published today covers what can be best described as a 3-D remote system.

Patently Apple says that the remote, among other things, could include motion detection where a user could manipulate objects on a screen.

As another example, the wand may include an input mechanism for receiving inputs from the user, and operative to provide the received inputs to the electronic device. The input mechanism may include any suitable input mechanism, including for example an input mechanism operative to detect movements of a user’s finger (e.g., a touch screen, touchpad or touch strip).

When an object is displayed by the electronic device, the user may zoom the display to access a more detailed view of the object. The user may provide the zooming instruction using any suitable approach. In some embodiments, the user may provide a zooming input using the input mechanism of the wand. For example, the user may slide a finger across the input mechanism to direct the electronic device to zoom the displayed object. If several objects are displayed and zoomed, the electronic device may change the position of the objects on the screen to maintain the ordering of the objects.

It’s unknown when, or if ever, the technology would be included in an Apple product. But with the possible integrated Apple television set making an appearance in the near future, it is something interesting to imagine.

Source: Patently Apple