Rovi, the multi-national digital entertainment services provider, and Nuance, the voice control software specialists, have announced they will be joining forces to bring sophisticated voice control to TVs, set-top boxes and other multimedia devices.
The partnership will leverage Rovi's existing meta data infrastructure that powers the EPGs and program information used on many commercial TVs (Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp) and set-top boxes (TIVO) and use Nuance's voice control expertise to allow users to talk to their devices. You'll be able to ask for 'films with Schwarzenegger', 'TV shows with David Jason' or even to 'show me information about The Avengers'. And, of course, you can just go straight to your chosen channel or verbally type in whatever it is you're searching for.
We were told the software will constantly be tailored to account for strange names or pronunciations, so you should have no problem finding your favourites, no matter how obscure.
“Consumers love that today’s cable services and program guides offer so many options for shows, movies, contents, information widgets and more. But without an easy way to access and discover that content, today’s digital living room experience is lost,” said Michael Thompson, senior vice president and general manager, Nuance Mobile. “By integrating Rovi’s data as part of our Dragon TV platform, people will ultimately be able to lean back and speak to instantly find and discover the shows and content they want.”
Initially, the tech will be harnessed using mobile phones and tablets that already feature apps that can control your TV or TIVO box - just speak into your phone - though eventually it could be integrated into the TVs and boxes themselves. Among the early partners will be Samsung and TIVO, both of which have existing apps.
There a no firm dates as to when devices will start to feature the technology but it should be arriving over the coming months.