As part of Amazon’s Fire TV streaming video set-top device, voice remote control will be somewhat of a key differentiator in a field that also includes the likes of Apple TV, Roku and Google’s Chromecast.
“Hello, Fire TV. How about sending me just a few commercials this prime-time hour? Hey, I’m not greedy.” That should warm the hearts of some TV advertisers -- that is, unless, Fire TV offers up a quick TV commercial from say, Dish Network and its Hopper set-top device that can skip lots of TV messaging.
Fire TV, AppleTV, Roku, and Chromecast seem to be a transitory effort for early-generation smart TVs looking to morph into the next big seamless TV set/internet-device thing. Voice activation will be a part of this, perhaps until hand-gesture remote controls can get better. Microsoft just announced a Siri-like competitor, Cortana. Google already had a digital assistant, Google Now.
Still, current voice remote control software can be too limited and not accurate enough, according to analysts. Coming up with more complex and better “voice-searchers” is the key for the future. “Please, Siri, I want to watch a TV show like ‘The Good Wife,’ but with some extraterrestrial content. But not too dramatic. Perhaps a little witty. Oh yeah, I want to hero to be a Jennifer Lawrence-like character. Got it?”