CES 2013 ushers in TVs built for waving, pointing, and tapping (+video)
At CES 2013 Samsung, Panasonic, and LG trotted out their next generation of Smart TVs.
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There are some safeguards in place so that the TV wouldn't misinterpret casual conversations or gestures as actual commands. You'd need to press a button before giving a voice command, and you'd need to stand still for a few seconds and raise one hand before an on-screen cursor would appear for gesture commands.Skip to next paragraph
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"Most interaction I've had with gesture and voice control ... it's not real great right now," he said. "Right now, a lot of people in the industry are just trying to explore the possibilities."
The TV makers' new interactive features fared better when they reverted to the traditional remote control format, with some twists.
Samsung's new remote has a touch-enabled track pad that swiped through menus similar to smartphone screens on Android and Apple mobile devices.
Panasonic Corp. is also including a track pad and a microphone on its new remote — though it faces similar challenges recognizing commands. A voice command for "Breaking Bad" on video brought up Google search results on a Web browser, as opposed to opportunities to watch the show.
LG Electronics Inc.'s newest "Magic Remote" controller was incredibly precise in directing where an on-screen pointer should be. It uses Bluetooth wireless technology along with a gyroscope inside the controller itself. It worked even from a great distance or when facing in the opposite direction.
LG's voice command worked well in searching for programs on live TV, Web video apps and even the broader Internet. When an attendant pressed the voice input button and spoke into the microphone on the controller asking for "Channel 5," one of items presented was the Bing search results showing the website of the Channel 5 TV broadcaster in Las Vegas.
Another feature demonstrated on an LG TV was a way to mirror what's on your smartphone or tablet with the TV. Using what's known as "near-field communications," an attendant touched his Android phone to a kind of sticky pad that was stuck onto the TV stand. After interacting with the chip inside the pad, the phone was paired with the TV. The phone then brought up two arrows, one for "Phone to TV" and the other "TV to Phone."
By swiping up for "Phone to TV," whatever was on the phone then showed up on the big screen. Swiping the other way brought out a set of controls for using the phone like a remote control.