One remote to rule them all
Who on earth wants to yell at their television?
Voice activated smart TVs have been a staple of the emerging technologies I’ve seen at CES in Las Vegas this year and I must say – I just don’t get it.
So far I haven’t seen a voice activated smart TV that works as well as it’s supposed to, but even if I had - if I never have to talk to my television, I’ll be better for it.
You’ve got voice integrated remote controls that let you speak into it. Which is just like, why? Why create a voice activated remote control? Why not just create a voice activated TV? Voice activated controls for gaming have been impressive mainly, but I just don’t get why anyone would want to buy a tv or gaming console you have to talk to.
Instead of designing voice controlled televisions here are my suggestions for technology we need.
One remote to rule them all
Creating a voice controlled television is kind of like curing cancer before the common cold. All I want to do is have one remote that controls everything. One remote. That’s all. One remote to rule them all – the TV, the DVD, the Blu-Ray, cable, digital hard drives etc. Is that so much to ask for? I’d sooner buy a tv that tells me where I put the sodding remote than one I have to boss around.
A proper hands free “Siri” alternative
So Apple was the first to release a voice activated function for the smartphone that works in a way that is useful and effective (for the most part). Google “Majel” isn’t far behind. But here’s the thing – Siri is great and all, but it’s a little counter-intuitive because to use it you still have to rifle around for your phone, press and hold the button and then prompt it to execute your command.
I want to do on my phone what I can already do on some smart TVs and gaming consoles. I want to boss it around without ever having to touch it. Wouldn’t it be great (and safe) to be able to be driving your car, and say “Smartphone, call work, tell them I’m going to be late” – without ever having to touch it? Or ask your phone for directions so you don’t need to spend time at a traffic light punching in the coordinates.
See, CES – I’ve just found you a new marketing demographic. Drivers. Also – parents with small children. Kids require constant attention so it’s probably not a good idea to try to cradle a child on the one arm and text with the other.
Enter voice control.
Forget voice controlled televisions – give me a Siri alternative that works.
But if you must – Bluetooth headsets
If you’re going to create televisions you can yell at – at least make them practical.
Develop a Bluetooth headset so you can interact with your television or gaming consoles from anywhere in the house. Xbox Kinect already launched voice activated controls that were rolled out with the latest update of Xbox live.
Wouldn’t it be great if while you’re cooking dinner for your friends, you can set up a movie for them to watch while you run around trying to make sure everyone’s comfortable? How impressive would that be? You’d be a prince amongst men around your friends.
Just a little wanky earpiece with a microphone that lets you control the content on your tv from anywhere in the house. Simple. Inexpensive. Practical.
This to me is a far better reason to have voice integrated controls on televisions and gaming consoles like Xbox and Playstations.
Voice activated search shouldn’t be about sitting in front of your television giving commands. It should be about making the way you interact with your entertainment unit easier and more efficient. If you absolutely must develop voice controls – create solutions that help maximize people’s time so they don’t have to stop and stand in front of the thing and boss it around.
Practicality is key.
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