Google is building voice search capabilities that will let users manage their Google TV content and channels with Android smartphones and tablet computers.
(NASDAQ:GOOG) has filed patents covering a voice-activated remote control, a
move that could ultimately provide speech input for the company's Google TV
filing, discovered by Patently Apple
came Sept. 29, 2011. That was only days before Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched its
Siri voice-based search software with the iPhone 4S. As with Apple's iPhone and
iPad before it, Siri ostensibly renewed interest in a voice search market
already well represented by Google.
been investing heavily in speech-based technologies, offering Voice Search for
Apple's iPhone and Android handsets the last few years.
Google launched Voice Actions, a more limited approach to voice-controlled
tasks than Siri. The company expanded voice search to its desktop in 2011, and
is working on a voice search-based project, code-named Majel.
TV is another logical input for its Google TV service, which marries channel
surfing and Web surfing. Patently Apple
reported that Google's new remote technology would use voice controls that
leverage Google's cloud-based services.
Google TV users will be able to use their Android phone or tablet computer as
the remote to search for information about TV shows.
or tablet could be programmed to accept voice input, then package the audio and
shuttle it over the Web to a Google-operated speech-to-text server system. The
smartphone app would then forward the text to the television, a set-top box or
some other entertainment-oriented appliance.
technology employing smartphones as the primary remote control, users would be
able to speak into their phone from wherever their device is connected to a
mobile broadband networkto turn the TV on or off, or program it to record
channels and other TV management tasks from afar.
provision of the query to the television may occur when the user is within a
set distance of his home also (e.g., by determining with GPS functionality on
the smartphone that he is within 1/4 mile of the home), and the television may
be turned on automatically as he approaches the home, with the television tuned
to a channel that is determined to be most relevant to the query,"
according to the patent filing.
Google's illustrations for its patent shows how data may be submitted by an
Android phone to a Google TV system.
revelation isn't particularly surprising in light of the fact that Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt alluded
such location-centric cloud computing tasks when he spoke at the 2012 Consumer
Electronics Show last month.
explained that a user with an Android phone can come into their house, and the
phone alerts the TV the user has arrived. He said Google TV is an example of
"more devices in the home talking to each other."
after Microsoft launched Kinect voice control
for its Xbox 360
gaming and TV streaming platform last December, it was widely assumed Google
would accelerate its efforts to bring voice search to Google TV.
once, a Google spokesperson has indicated that voice search would be a logical
input option for Google TV. Of course, Google has more than Microsoft to worry
about. Apple is reportedly adapting Siri for its revised Apple television
product, and Samsung has developed a remote control that leverages a voice-recognition
function and a touch pad for a smart TV it will release this year.
discovery of the Google voice search patents comes a few days after the blog
discovered that Google
is working on ways to let users unlock their phones with their voices.