CES 2012: Nuance Announces Dragon TV, Ahead of Rumored Apple HDTV

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We’ve heard tons of rumors about Apple’s HDTV, which is said to be powered by by Siri. If Nuance’s announcement of Dragon TV is anything like what Apple’s TV is expected to be like, things will get pretty interesting this year.

Voice-Powered TV Sets?

With Siri becoming quite popular on the iPhone 4S and more and more devices allowing for voice control, it’s not hard to imagine more technology companies jumping on the voice-powered TV wagon. We’ve seen it to an extent with Microsoft and their Kinect interface. It’s a bit limited at this time, but a user can say something like “Xbox, launch Netflix” and the Xbox, so long as Kinect is attached, will open Netflix.

 

Some Problems?

Of course there are some problems to work around. One, as I found with Kinect is that it can be a bit sensitive sometimes. If a character on the TV show or movie you are watching says something like “Back” or a strange combination of words that can be picked up by Kinect and interpreted as a command, you will find yourself staring at the screen as you try to figure out what the heck is going on. It’s how Criss Angel Mindfreaked me while watching his show. No joke, he was talking and Netflix kept rewinding at a certain point. Turns out that a certain combination of words Criss Angel was speaking were making my Xbox interpret it as a command to rewind the show a few seconds.

 

Is 2012 the Year of the Voice Powered TV Sets?

Apple’s iTV or whatever they decide to call their HDTV is rumored to be in development for a 2012 release. If Dragon TV is anything like this, it will be interesting to see how devices interact with users through voice commands. Perhaps they will each have their own approach. For instance, Kinect currently only runs with basic commands. Dragon TV sounds like something you can say something along the lines of “Go to channel 214” and the channel will change. If Apple’s TV is anything like they Siri, it will rely highly on trying to understand natural speech. For instance, if you say, “I want to watch something scary” it will search horror movies. Just a guess, based on interaction with Siri.

 

Are You Ready to Drop the Remote?

What’s next for TV? Seems that 3DTV hasn’t quite taken off. Will TV without a physical remote be the next thing? Perhaps tech companies will ween us off the remote over time? Our remote will be handy for a short while, then we will gradually learn that we no longer need them. Just imagine the future.

 

 

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