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Set-top boxes



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What was once considered a sales gimmick, voice controls have become an increasingly import feature for interacting with our everyday gadgets. Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home let you listen to music, hear the news, catch a ride with Lyft or Uber and more.

The Amazon Echo and Google Home can also control a variety of third-party gadgets through voice commands. This includes the Nest Thermostat, Phillips Hue Light Bulbs and Belkin WeMo smart switches.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Apple introduced the world to the modern voice assistant with Siri in 2011. Since then, nearly all smartphones have added voice interactions through a personal assistant. There's Google Now/Assistant for Android, Siri for the iPhone and Cortana on Windows 10 Mobile.

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These same voice assistants are also available on the iPad, and Windows and Android tablets.

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...And on set-top boxes like the Apple TV, Nexus Player and Amazon Fire TV. While the Roku doesn't include a "voice assistant," you can still use voice commands to find your favorite shows and movies.

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Windows 10 added Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant to desktops and laptops, while MacOS Sierra brought Siri to the Mac.

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Voice commands are also prevalent on smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, Huawei Watch and Samsung Gear S3.

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The Xbox 360 was one of the earliest devices to get voice commands, thanks to Microsoft's Kinect sensor. The commands were limited at first, but voice interactions really took off with the release of the Xbox One and Kinect 2, which allows users to turn of their TV, change the channel and adjust the volume using only their voice.

While not as robust as the voice commands on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 owners can also use their voice to control the console when paired with the PlayStation Camera.

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Did you know you could talk to your TV? It's true. Most modern smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony and others support a variety of voice commands, such as the abilty to adjust the volume or open Netflix.

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It's no secret that you can talk to your car. A majority of vehicles from the past five years can connect to your smartphone over Bluetooth for hands-free calling. Car companies are slowly adopting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which allow for more robust voice features. This includes being able to ask questions to Siri and Google, receiving navigation, answering calls and playing music.

Pictured above is the 2017 Nissan Maxima, which is the first Nissan car to come standard with Apple CarPlay.

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This $7,000 Lynx smart grill is unique in multiple ways. For one, it costs about as much as a used car, but it also includes built-in voice commands that allow you to fire up the burners, set cook timers, and more.

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Some morning you probably want to yell at your alarm clock (if you even own one). Now you can with the Ivee Sleek. This smart alarm clock lets you set set an alarm, change the sound, and turn an alarm on or off using only your voice.

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The Oakley Radar Pace include a built-in voice assistant that can answer questions and coach you during runs and bike rides.

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The Honeywell Smart Thermostat allows you to adjust the temperature of your home using only your voice. While it's not built-in directly, you can also use voice commands with the Nest Thermostat through an Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker.

Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET

Both the GoPro Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session support voice commands for starting videos, snapping photos and turning off the camera.

Building a smart home? Be sure to check out the 8 gadgets that'll let you talk to it.

Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
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