TV Industry Preparing for Voice Recognition Interfaces in 2012
Apple iScreen concept by Ciccarese Design
Businessweek reports on the movement towards voice-activated TV remotes in the coming year. The move seems triggered by Apple's plans to enter the TV market in the near future. Steve Jobs said that he had finally "cracked it", referring to the TV user interface. Most believe that this revelation relates to Apple's Siri voice recognition system, and the industry is on the move:
Whether the rumors are true that Apple is planning to release a TV set by 2013, Siri-like voice recognition is headed for the living room. Microsoft (MSFT) is already there, via its Xbox 360 game console, and Comcast (CMCSA), Samsung Electronics (SHCAY), LG, and Sharp are working on voice-enabled features for TV sets, set-top boxes, and related products.
Businessweek suggests an voice command as simple as "Record the next episode of Modern Family" as a much needed improvement over the current solution. Jakob Nielsen of Nielsen Norman Group goes on to say "Anything would be better than what we have now."
Upcoming remote devices are said to look more like iPhones than traditional remotes, with possibly a single physical button to activate the microphone. Others are working to simply embed microphones around the living room and eliminating a physical remote altogether. Nuance suggests that 5% of TVs could be voice controlled by Christmas 2012.
We've previously reported about competitors "scrambling" to identify what an Apple television set might look like. The lead up is reminiscent to the large number of tablet plans from competitors in the months leading up to the original iPad launch.