Is gesture and voice-controlled TV the future?
Gesture and voice controls are increasingly finding their way into the living room. Just look at Microsoft Kinect. More than a gaming peripheral, it is now being used to control the way we watch films and television. Who needs remotes when you can use your own body and vocal chords? We are now seeing similar technology built-into TV sets. For better or worse? We look at the reasons for and against the new breed of TV tech.
The Gadget Show Live 2012 gave us a chance to check out the technology for ourselves. Remember the Samsung ES8000 we told you about? It’s a marvel of a TV that lets you access its multitude of options simply by saying “hi”.
As marvelous as it is, the technology is not all set-ups. Here are a few reasons for and against gesture and voice-controlled television.
No remote control
We do love pushing buttons, but we also hate having to look for the remote control. And no remote control means having less buttons to remember. Pick up your nearest remote control and ask yourself how many of those buttons you actually use. We bet it’s only a handful.
Which is quicker? Reaching over for the volume controls or simply saying “volume up” to change volume? Or navigating on-screen menus for that ‘play’ function when you could utter the word yourself from anywhere on a menu? We’d wager that it’s the latter.
It’s the future
Voice and gesture control is the future. It’s increasingly finding its way into the living room, and our bedrooms, so lets embrace it. Who knows what other possibilities lie ahead.
The need for a well-lit room
Our experience with Microsoft has taught us that gesture recognition only works to its fullest in well-lit, uncluttered environments. We’d hate having to turn up the lights and ruin the mood just to navigate our swanky TV.
Can you speak up?
And then there’s the possibility of our televisions misinterpreting what we say. In the time it would take for us to repeat ourselves we’d have already used the remote control.
Background noise and movement
In fairness even Microsoft Kinect does well not to become too distracted by background noise, but even so, the kind of technology we’re talking about only works its best in noise-free environments and in areas others will not be walking past.
The above is just some of the reasons for and against motion-sensor-based gesture and voice control in the home. But what do you think? Do you own a voice and gesture-controlled TV? If so we’d love to know your own experiences. Drop us a line in the comments section below.