Don't Unveil a TV Without This Feature, Apple

So many have weighed in on Siri's flaws that it must be difficult to take Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) voice assistant seriously. But she isn't useless. To the contrary: I think Siri should be the default interface of the next version of Apple TV.

Frankly, it's the least Apple can do. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) has spent years transforming the Xbox into a wonderfully functioning media console as well as a gaming platform. The 360 already includes Kinect voice commands for activating common features:

Sources: Microsoft and YouTube.

Now, there's talk that the next Xbox will include more natural language commands. Say you're playing the latest Halo but want to try something new. The next Xbox should allow you to ask "What are my friends playing?" to bring up a list. Text-to-speech is also planned, The Verge reports.

Both features are interesting. But of the two, I think Apple's best option is to transform Siri into a personal TV assistant. Remotes have too many steps. Giving customers the ability to go directly to a show or a menu with one command could be a huge game-changer.

Nuance Communications (NASDAQ: NUAN  ) , long rumored to be a Siri partner, is already working on this sort of advanced interface as a sort of personal assistant that travels from your computer to your phone and car. Why not add TV?

Whatever the plan, Apple needs to upgrade soon. Microsoft is improving Xbox TV while Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) adds its own subscribers via an expanded fiber network. The industry is moving fast; Apple needs to move faster.

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  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2013, at 12:45 AM, Petronilus wrote:

    The idea of speaking to a TV is not necessarily bad but of less value than most people realize. TVs are mostly used for lean back content where your interaction, e.g. changing channel, is a small percentage of overall usage. Thus if you think voice controlling your browser is not for you, why would you think voice controlling your TV is?

    Yes, surely selecting a movie through voice is a neat idea and not a bad feature, but it would be down on the list of essentials for any good TV after picture quality, audio quality, design and overall UX experience incl. remote.

    The other primary category of use on a TV is console gaming where voice control has minimal value also.

    If it's not about selecting lean back type content on my TV and my mind wants to ask any question to a cloud based voice controlled service, why not just do it through my mobile device that I carry with me anyway? Also, if you have to grab a remote to talk to the TV the idea falls apart, thus the TV needs to have the microphones build in with high performance suppression of noise to make it able to understand your command in all conditions (incl. when the TV itself outputs loud sound).

    Apple needs to be smarter than just making a "Siri TV". Key will be the convergence experience of everything being unified both UX and hardware with simple ease of setup and ease of use.

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2013, at 4:32 AM, alboy5 wrote:

    ipad check ipod check iphone check innovation none.

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2013, at 4:33 AM, crash3085 wrote:

    People still watch TV?

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