In conjunction with the announcement of the new Apple TV today, Apple took the wraps off a new remote control — and it's got a lot going on. A touch-sensitive glass surface serves as the primary means of input, but the remote also support for Siri as Apple pushes its voice assistant deeper across its product portfolio. It can also be turned sideways and used for gaming. Other buttons include Menu, Play / Pause, TV, and a volume rocker. (Missing are forward and rewind controls, but presumably that's all done through the touch-sensitive surface now.) The Apple TV can control power and volume over HDMI-CEC, which means that it'll be able to control many televisions on the market right through the HDMI connection.
The remote is actually a pretty big deal: the outgoing remote has been an ultra-simple unit that's been kicking around for a long time, while the new one is an ultra-capable unit that lets you interact with the set-top in a variety of ways. Siri seems to be a core element of the new experience, so that's a particularly big deal. Also, the remote is black now — the old one was silver — which means it should fit into the living room decor a little bit better. This is a remote you're probably not going to want to put away and replace with a universal one, so that's an important thing.
It also uses Bluetooth 4.0 to communicate with the box, not infrared, which means you don't need line of sight for control — you can stick the Apple TV away in a corner somewhere.