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Zappware platform add-on allows users to voice control their TV

Zappware, a provider of digital TV products for pay-TV operators, has added voice control capability to its end-to-end DVB/IPTV/OTT platform.

Currently, interaction with the TV screen mainly occurs using a physical remote control device. In order to offer a more natural way for interacting with the TV screen, Zappware now offers an additional mechanism based on voice control. Using a microphone built into the remote control device or into mobile devices, end-users can now search for specific content or instruct the TV to play specific content. This results in a more natural and faster way of interacting with content as it avoids the lengthy process of typing in search strings using the remote control device.

The technology for voice recognition is provided by 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 including speech recognition, semantic interpretation, a multi-parameter search engine, view control, metadata handling and processing as well as text-to-speech output.

“Voice technology has rapidly evolved, and is now providing accurate recognition even in the presence of substantial background noise”, says Marc Vervoort, Creative Director at Zappware. “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”), says Dr. Lupo Pape, CEO at SemanticEdge. “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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