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FaceTime's arrival on tvOS 17 reignites rumors of Apple TV with a built-in camera

Apple TV box with FaceTime

The recent addition of FaceTime in tvOS 17 has brought back a rumor from last year that Apple could add a built-in camera to future Apple TV boxes. Apple introduced tvOS 17 last year, and among all other things, the addition of FaceTime on Apple TV was the most talked about. It took advantage of the Continuity Camera allowing users to wirelessly connect their iPhone or iPad and use the device's rear camera and microphone to perform video calls on their TV.

In his Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman of Bloomberg said that Apple has "discussed automating household functions and offering a revamped Apple TV set-top box with a built-in camera for FaceTime videoconferencing and gesture-based controls." He added that technology will work "seamlessly with both the iPhone and Vision Pro."

While he made claims that future Apple TV boxes could feature a camera and would support gesture-based controls, he didn't provide any additional details. But this goes in line with Apple's addition of hand gestures in iOS 17, macOS Sonoma, and tvOS 17, which allows users to make hand gestures during video calls on the FaceTime app or other video calling apps to trigger 3D effects.

For example, you can hold two thumbs down to make it rain or make a peace sign with one hand to show confetti. It's unclear whether the new report is referring to this feature or whether Apple would rework gesture-based controls for tvOS from scratch.

If these rumors turn out to be true and Cupertino brings an Apple TV box with a camera built-in, users would no longer need an iPhone connected to their Apple TV to FaceTime their loved ones, as the features will be embedded in the Apple TV box itself. As of now, it's unclear if there is any device in the works or when these devices will be released.

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