Use Voice, Gestures to Control TV
a new wave of TVs this year will provide the option of using voice controls or hand gestures to navigate channels, change volumes or find the right content from broadcasts or the Internet. Samsung recently shipped new interactive TVs that not only recognize hand gestures, but also 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 is capable of quality gaming. Panasonic has already shipped some of its latest Viera TVs in the U.K. with Nuance Communications' Dragon TV platform, which allows users to speak out channel choices or Twitter updates.
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The goal of TV makers is to enable natural forms of interaction with TVs, and Samsung is now a step ahead of Sony and LG, which offer smart TVs with traditional remote controls. Samsung's new interactive TVs are LED ES7500, which comes in 46-inch to 60-inch screens and is priced starting at US$1,999 on Amazon.com, the LED ES8000, which is priced starting at $2,300, and Plasma E8000, which is priced starting at $1,800. A separate keyboard is also available for users to type in commands.
Lenovo's smart TV ambition
Lenovo's smart TV plans are similar to Samsung's: Speak commands into the remote control and the TV obeys. 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 casual games assisted by a game pad. The TV has gesture recognition and can run Android 4.0 applications, so theoretically it is possible to run an application like Angry Birds on the TV with players controlling the game through midair hand movements. Lenovo has also talked about plans to link the TV to its burgeoning cloud service, from which applications and games can be downloaded. Lenovo will take the TV outside its home market of China when it sees a business opportunity, the company has said. The company has not yet set a price for the TV.
Nuance is known for its voice recognition software and...