Voice Controlled TV
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Introducing Voice Controlled TV

With Smart TV technology improving in leaps and bounds by the day, it should be no surprise to anyone that voice controlled TV sets are finally being made into a reality. If the name didn’t say it all, these television sets will (theoretically) allow users to ditch the abundance of TV remotes littering their homes and control everything with (Surprise, surprise) their voice.

If you’re familiar with the new voice controlled smart phone apps, like Vlingo or Siri, the idea for a Smart voice controlled TV is the same. By using key phrases, like “TV on,” for example, you will be able to perform a variety of commands. From changing the channel and adjusting the volume, to locating and recording your favorite TV shows, voice identification technology will do as you command for your TV. All, of course, hands free.

So what kind of benefits does this mean for those of us that have grown up with standard TV remote controls? Obviously, there’s the practical advantage of hands-free operation for your television. That makes this a must have item for people who all too often have their hands full at home (Not to mention the handicapped or disabled). If you’re the kind of person who comes home from work and finds your hands busy cooking, painting, or taking care of small children, a “smart TV” should make things that much easier on your already stressful life.

However, as with most new tech toys, being the first to have a voice controlled TV will serve a second, and perhaps more important, benefit by providing consumers with yet another glorious symbol of status. After all, nothing quite says, “Look how cool I am,“ like welcoming a guest into your home and commanding the TV to turn on the big game while you casually fix yourself a drink.

Don’t buy for the sake of status you say? Neither do I. Unfortunately, as we’ve all seen with the recent year’s wave of smart phones, tablet computers, and the apps that accompany them, one can only hold out for so long. And the reality is that ultimately voice and gesture control for our TVs will become standard and second nature.

That change in how we control our TVs may well result in new streams of content too. The future of smart TVs will no doubt be upgraded with new types of downloadable content, making them compatible with your favorite apps and social networking sites. The impact of social TV is already becoming far reaching, and new breakthroughs in TV use just open up the way for further growth.

And so, as with all new technology, the question isn’t if you can go without it, it’s how long can you hold out?

So when will these bad boys be available you ask? Apple has been flirting with smart TV’s for about two years, first via the Apple TV box and sometime in 2012 we may well see the first voice recognition powered Apple TV model. Early in 2012 Samsung unveiled their own voice controlled smart TV prototype, known initially as the ES TVs.

Between these two giants competing for the first and best performing voice command TV sets, I don’t see any reason not to think that we’ll be seeing a whole bundle of commercial advertisements for voice controlled TV features kicking off in the middle of 2012. Already some industry analysts are predicting that five percent of television sets may have voice recognition as early as 2013.

If that’s the case, you should be expecting lines of eager “concrete campers” around your local Best Buy, Circuit City, and other electronic stores as early as fall and as a late as December of this year. So my advice to you is to dress warm this Black Friday, because voice controlled TV sets will be coming soon to a store, or needy neighbour’s house, near you.

Keep an eye on the Smart TV buying guide or read up on Smart TV reviews here on SmartTV101.com to keep on top of those models that are going to work with voice control.