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A TV That Listens Up

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 20, 2007

TV maker Westinghouse Digital Electronics just polled 1,200 people about what features they’d like to see in their TV. Voice recognition topped the list: People want to be able to tell the TV to tune to Super Bowl, or to start taping a show.

You’d be surprised how many people have trouble working their complex remote controls and programming their DVR nowadays. Voice recognition would be such an obvious solution to this problem. Already, several companies are selling voice-activated remote controls. I bet that if a mainstream TV maker came out with voice-activated TVs and DVRs, sales would go through the roof.

Have you used any of the voice-activated remotes on the market? What do you think?

Reader Comments

Nathan B.

September 20, 2007 3:42 PM

I purchased a voice activated remote for a relative who didn't need the over-buttoned model her husband enjoyed tinkering with.

While the concept was good, execution was lacking, and the best part was just having a simpler remote for basic functions like muting the volume when the phone rang rather than trying to locate the tablet/touchscreen one across the room somewhere.

Though - with voice activated televisions we lose that staple of American life - fighting over the remote with a spouse (or as children with a sibling).

Now, instead, the fight won't exist since either party can simply change the channel with a voice command and it would go back and forth ad nauseum. Of course we could implement Star Trek like override commands, etc. :)

steve baker

September 21, 2007 7:23 AM

hey olga,
I blogged about this too. I think voice commands, at least in the early stage, will be a disaster. The TV itself is making lots of noise, which will interfere I'll wait for voice 2.0 on my tube

September 21, 2007 9:49 AM

TV sets with voice recognition and any other cutting edge and Star-Trek-the-Voyager-like features would be so cool and would sell like hot cakes

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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