Samsung brings voice, gesture control to TVs
Samsung's new Smart Interaction technology, built into its high-end 2012 TVs, uses a camera and microphone to enable watchers to control TV functions via voice and gestures.
LAS VEGAS--Now that gesture you make to your TV might actually elicit a response from the boob tube itself.
Today at CES, Samsung has announced that certain of its high-end TVs will include new Smart Interaction technology, which allows control over the set by waving, shouting, or otherwise using gestures and voice.
Think of Smart Interaction as
At first the system will only allow control of in-menu operations of Samsung's Smart Hub connected TV platform, as well as basic TV menu controls and volume and channel changes. A company rep described swiping in the air to navigate menus and speaking search terms aloud ("search for '30 Rock,'" a la Microsoft's) as launch-day functionality, but said that none of the apps built into the TV supports voice/gesture control yet. However, the newest version of the software developer's kit, released at the show, does include such support.
We were told that the Skype app takes advantage of the camera and microphone, obviating the need to purchase an external Skype camera/speakerphone (currently $170) to use the TV for video calls.
The company also includes "Face Recognition" among the system's capabilities, which will enable different family members to access their separate Smart Hub accounts by simply smiling (or not) for the camera.
Smart Interaction will be available on Samsung's, its two best series of LED models, the and , as well as its flagship plasma. A company rep was unclear whether it would also appear on the step-down plasma, but said he doubted it.