The small aluminium clicker that Apple has used for a decade will be replaced by a new version with a touchpad when Apple unveils the new Apple TV next month, according to The New York Times.
Two buttons and a touchpad
The information comes from an anonymous employee of Apple who has spoken with the newspaper. The new remote control will use a touchpad, like the one from the Macbook, and have two buttons.
This may indicate that Apple is planning to change more than just the functionality of the new Apple TV. There are of course many other remote controls with touchpads out today, but by combining it with for example “Force Touch” that recently came to Macbook and Apple Watch, one can imagine that the experience of controlling a TV screen becomes more authentic. The report, however, does explicitly mention Force Touch.
The current remote control relies on infrared that requires you to point it towards the box. A touchpad would require Apple to switch to bluetooth.
The source also says that the new remote control is slightly thicker than the current version.