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Move over Microsoft and Kinect. Samsung are going head to head with Microsoft where the Kinect is already enabling voice and gesture control for the television and, as has also been announced at CES, motion-control for PC is imminent.
Samsung have rolled out their new connected TV, the Samsung ES8000, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that has been ‘future-proofed’ with the built-in ability to upgrade it’s features and processing power as well as gesture-based control and face and voice recognition allowing users to browse the web with a wave of their hand and to change channel by speaking in one of the more than 20 languages that the set is preprogrammed to understand.
The implications of this kind of technology becoming mass market are huge - and how eventually it could have a huge impact on how we watch TV and how we interact with the medium in the future. It's another nail in the coffin for the old-school, stupid TV remote - with tablets and smart phones providing the others.
The Samsung ES8000 is fitted with a slot that will enable it to keep pace with advances in television technology - a tactic that the company hopes will allay the consumers fear of investing in a high-end set that will have become quickly out of date. And more importantly, the dual-core processor, a first for TV, will allow for multi-tasking and allowing one to switch back and forth between functions on the TV without falling asleep waiting.
Smart TVs will use the in-built camera for facial recognition (and Skype video chat) which means it will be able recognise family members and bring up their profile with personalised app selections, favourite channel lists and recordings. Samsung, at CES, said that the number of apps available will grow by 60 per cent this year and that over 20 million downloads will soon be reached - and that 25,000 companies were now developing apps for its platform.
Samsung is also offering a special interface for children, interactive fitness programs as well as one called Family Story, which allows you to share photographs and notes with the rest of your family through the TV. Family focus continues with the new Kids service offers content perfect for the little ones in your life.