IBC 2015: Talking is the new way to engage your TV

There are nearly half a billion connected TV devices in use around the world today, ranging from the latest lineup of Smart TVs and gaming consoles to set top boxes and Blu-ray players. As these have evolved, so have the expectations of consumers. The requirement today is an intuitive interface for content search and discovery that makes navigating the wealth of content options much simpler. Along with our partners, Nuance has worked to build a simple, specialized and more natural experience for consumers everywhere.
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Speech recognition is simplifying how people discover and access content on their TVs.

The way that we interact with our devices, at home and at work, is constantly evolving. Due to the growth in voice recognition technology and intelligent systems, we have seen a shift in how we interact with the devices that are most prevalent in our everyday lives including smartphones, tablets, televisions and automobiles.

The ways in which people consume entertainment content is changing rapidly. Most households today have many more channels compared to years past, with the ability to record, stop and start live television. Services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus and On-Demand services enable us to watch content when and where we want, on a variety of devices. TV is a more involved, engaging medium today – numerous blogs and reports recap our favorite shows, we can easily learn more about a commercial or advertisement that we see, and we can even interact with our favorite actors through social media.

There are nearly half a billion connected TV devices in use around the world today, ranging from Smart TVs, gaming consoles, streaming internet TV devices, traditional cable set top boxes, and Blu-ray players. As these have evolved, so have the expectations of consumers. The requirement today is an intuitive interface for content search and discovery that makes navigating the wealth of content options much simpler. Along with our partners, we have worked to build a simple, specialized and more natural experience for consumers everywhere.

At this year’s International Broadcasting Conference in Amsterdam, we are seeing even more evidence that the industry is adopting voice technologies for television use cases. We announced a joint initiative with Rovi to deliver an end-to-end solution for conversational entertainment discovery.  Rovi is a long-standing global supplier of metadata, TV guide technology, and entertainment search and recommendations technology in the TV space. Working with Rovi, we will provide our Dragon TV voice recognition, text-to-speech and voice biometrics to develop a fully integrated conversational voice interface that ultimately delivers a personalized entertainment experience, allowing people to speak naturally to quickly and easily find and access content.

A sophisticated voice interface allows viewers to ask their TV, remote control or set-top box to search for programs, movie titles, actors and actresses, favorite genres, sports and virtually any other category of preferred content. It offers an intuitive, quick way for viewers to find what they want to watch, rather than navigating manually through program guides, menus or interactive content. The software supports basic commands like “switch to HBO” and more specified requests like, “Find comedies starring Ryan Reynolds.”

Further improving this voice experience is the integration of voice biometrics. Different members of a household can be identified via their unique voiceprint, and instantly have access to individual custom home screens, recently-viewed and commonly-searched-for content, and personal web applications like social media feeds.

It’s clear that TV and voice are a natural fit, which is why we’re seeing broader adoption across the industry. Before long, we won’t be tapping remotes for all of our channel adjustments and content searches, preferring instead to have the TV act on a simple voice command to deliver exactly what it is that we are looking for.

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Scott Taylor

About Scott Taylor

Scott Taylor is the General Manager for Nuance’s Devices and Ecosystem business, covering TV, smartphones, tablets, wearables, and the Internet of Things. Scott has worked for 16 years in speech recognition and natural language understanding. Prior to that he spent over a decade developing and deploying software products and solutions for Fortune 500 enterprises and carriers around the globe. Scott graduated from Miami University with a B.S. in computers systems analysis.