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New gesture, voice technology may make remote controls obsolete

January 23, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
SoftKinetic_GuruTrainingSystems.jpg
[Image: A SoftKinetic application called Guru Training Systems is shown at the Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas. (Myung J. Chun, Los Angeles Times)]

New gesture, voice technology may make remote controls obsolete

Systems that enable consumers to control TVs, smartphones, tablets and home appliances by waving a hand or saying a word are eliminating the need for clunky pointing devices.


January 20, 2012 by David Sarno, Los Angeles Times via ISPR -- The remote control has never been much beloved.

If it's not getting lost or running out of batteries, the device -- and its inscrutable buttons -- is confusing some family member or acting as a totem in an argument about what to watch.

Wouldn't it be nice to wave your hand, say a magic word and make the clicker disappear for good?

With a new generation of gesture- and voice-controlled televisions, that's exactly what may happen.

Viewers can control a new line of TV sets simply by speaking or gesturing at them, eliminating the need for clunky pointing devices and opening up a range of new ways people can use and interact with their televisions.

At a giant booth built by Samsung Electronics for the Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas, a young woman gave a demonstration of the company's new line of Smart TV sets, which come with a built-in Web browser as well as online applications such as Netflix, Skype and Facebook.

"Hi TV," she said, issuing the verbal command for the TV to turn on. "Channel 1034." The TV switched to a news channel. "Web browser," she continued, and the Yahoo home page popped up.

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