The venue for Apple’s special media event next week naturally raised a few eyebrows. Whereas most Apple events tend to take place either at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts or on Apple’s Cupertino campus, next week’s event will be taking place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.
Now Apple isn’t a complete stranger to this particular venue. If we go back in time a few decades, the company took up shop at the Civic Auditorium when it introduced the Apple II to the world back in the late 70s. Still, what makes Apple’s choice of venue here so interesting is its size.
The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium is a large venue, with enough seating capacity for 7,000 people. By way of contrast, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts can only accommodate about 757 people.
Now seeing as how Apple isn’t planning on inviting thousands of journalists and members of the tech press to witness the presentation live, one has to wonder why Apple needs such a sprawling event space.
Tackling this question, Fortune recently brought an interesting theory to the surface. With next week’s event likely to be as much about a revamped Apple TV as it is about new iPhones, it stands to reason that Apple wants to show off what it’s been working on in the context of makeshift living rooms.
Indeed, with rumors that the upcoming Apple TV will include support for Siri, a universal search feature for programming, and dedicated gaming apps, an event space with multitudes of couches and big screen HDTVs sounds like a smart way to really demonstrate the device’s capabilities.
The Apple TV belongs in a living room, so it only makes sense to let those in attendance test out the set-top box in an actual living room.
I envision several different living room setups, each serving a different purpose. The first would be a gaming room, where those in attendance can play games and review Apple TV’s overall gaming experience.
Another room, perhaps tucked away in a quiet corner, would be designed for critics to test out Siri’s latest upgrades, perhaps, by asking her for movie and TV show recommendations.
If this theory pans out, it wouldn’t be the first time Apple has chosen a venue to fit to whatever type of mood or vibe it wanted to convey with a new product.And in this case, a completely revamped Apple TV demands a more spacious demo environment. You can hold new iPhone models and even try on new Apple Watch bands, but when it comes to all things TV-related, well, that’s something one needs to experience.
All this being said, it stands to reason that the Apple TV, as has been rumored, will be a potentially game changing device.