Zappware Launches Voice Recognition for Smart TVs

Belgian firm Zappware has launched a smart TV voice control mechanism that allows users to search for specific content or instruct the TV to play specific content through their mobile devices or microphones built into their remote controls.

The voice recognition technology is being provided by speech and natural language processing developer SemanticEdge. The SemanticEdge natural language user interface, NLUI for Smart TV, is an end-to-end solution for integrating voice search into existing smart TV platforms. It includes speech recognition, semantic interpretation, a multi-parameter search engine, view control, metadata handling and processing, and text-to-speech output.

"Voice technology has rapidly evolved and is now providing accurate recognition, even in the presence of substantial background noise," said Marc Vervoort, creative director at Zappware, in a statement. "By providing a more direct access to the content, it lowers any thresholds for discovering new content and increases consumption."

"Voice search and voice control signifies a new paradigm for TV usage. It allows the user to control their TV sets and to search for TV programs, VoD titles, or YouTube videos by just saying what they want (e.g. 'I am looking for a cool action film tonight at 8 p.m.' or 'Show me all movies directed by Quentin Tarantino'), said Lupo Pape, CEO of SemanticEdge, in a statement. "Our solution was evaluated by independent usability test labs. The results show that voice search for TV and video content was valued as a very comfortable, easy-to-learn, and fun-to-use feature."

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