Why I’ll Never Talk to My TV – And Why You Shouldn’t Either

Mar 1, 2012
44

With all the talk surrounding the Apple TV dominating discussions around Cupertino, I thought it’d be a good time to think about some of the features reportedly making its way to that set. Chief among them is Siri, Apple’s virtual personal assistant.

According to the latest reports, Siri would allow Apple TV owners to give all kinds of voice commands, including change the channel, modify volume, open applications, and more. By all measure, it would be like having the same iPhone-based Siri experience on a big television in your living room.

Apple isn’t alone. Samsung has doubled down on voice-recognition, delivering sets this year that will include support for both voice commands and gestures. And for good measure, LG has unveiled its new Magic Remote, which supports voice commands.

It’s a loud, vocal world out there in the television market.

But I couldn’t care less. In fact, I’ll likely be one of the few people out there that won’t even consider using voice technology to control a television, no matter how many of the sets I own come with the capability.

Admittedly, I know I’m in the minority. I’m sure there are literally millions of people around the globe that are salivating at the chance to leave their remote on the coffee table and simply tell their televisions what to do. The most vocal supporters of the technology say it’s the next great frontier in interacting with products, and it’s something that we will find nearly everywhere in the coming years.

[aquote]I've tried voice commands with my Kinect and been less than impressed[/aquote]

I can see the value of voice commands in smartphones and tablets, but I’m still not convinced it works in the living room. I’ve tried it with my Kinect and I’ve been less than impressed. And although I haven’t yet tried it with Samsung’s or LG’s televisions, I have a feeling I’ll feel the same way.

See, the problem is, in far too many cases, the voice-recognition doesn’t work as advertised. And when I have a bunch of people in my house, asking them all to be quiet so my television can hear me would be a little rude, don’t you think? Moreover, I’m not quite sure why I’d use it. A remote works just fine for me, and in most cases, it’ll probably be much easier to use than having to hit a button to tell my television to listen to me.

Maybe I’m getting old and all these new ideas these young ones come up with is lost on me. But talking to a television just so I can change a channel or look up a show I’m interested in? Come on. I’m all for neat new technology, but voice-recognition has been around for years, and it’s never been something the vast majority of people want.


Must Read Bits & Bytes