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TVs with IVR Capabilities Coming This Year

April 09, 2012
By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor

A new wave of TVs this year will provide the option of using voice recognition or hand gestures to navigate channels, change volumes, or find the right content from broadcasts or the Internet.

According to a article, Samsung (News - Alert) recently shipped new interactive TVs that recognize hand gestures and voice commands with the assistance of a “Smart Touch Remote” control, Lenovo hopes to go beyond voice and gesture recognition with a smart TV that has quality gaming capability, and Panasonic (News - Alert) has shipped its latest Viera TVs in the U.K. with Nuance Communications' Dragon TV platform, allowing users to speak out channel choices or Twitter updates.

Samsung’s new interactive TVs include the Smart Touch Control remote with a microphone to take in voice commands. The TV responds to simple commands like “volume up” or “channel up.” Saying “Web browser” opens up the browsing software, and users can also speak directly into the Google (News - Alert) search box instead of typing. Beyond voice recognition, the TV also has gesture recognition features in which moving a hand in the air allows users to browse around and select features.

Lenovo's smart TV plans are similar to Samsung's with voice commands. The company currently has in the pipeline one smart 3D TV, the K91, which will come with 42-inch and 55-inch screens and initially be available in China. In addition to voice recognition, the TV also has the hardware to play games assisted by a game pad. The TV also has gesture recognition and can run Android 4.0 applications. Lenovo has also talked about future plans to link the TV to its burgeoning cloud service, from which applications and games can be downloaded.

Nuance (News - Alert), known for its voice recognition software and for providing the underlying technology behind Apple's Siri voice-command service, is now offering its expertise to TV and set-top box makers. TV maker Panasonic has adopted Nuance's Dragon TV voice-recognition platform for its Viera TV sets, models of which have already started shipping in the U.K. Nuance demonstrated the platform at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, and said the technology could change the way users interact with TVs.

LG is looking to roll out TVs with voice controls and may be close with its latest version of its Magic Motion remote control, which was showcased at CES (News - Alert). Apple is also said to be working on a new TV that redefines the way users interact with TVs. But for now the best option is the company's Apple TV set-top box, which iPhone and iPad owners will appreciate. This TV allows users to play movies and TV shows from Apple's iTunes store and other multimedia content can be streamed from an iPhone or iPad.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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