Google TV was a bold endeavor for Google (GOOG). It was supposed to pick up where Microsoft’s (MSFT) WebTV failed in the 1990s. First launched in 2010, Google TV flopped and still is a flop for two reasons: expensive hardware and poor implementation. With hardly a mention as to what Google TV’s future will be at this year’s Google I/O, a product video for the next version of the platform (since made private) has surfaced showing off voice control. With it, Google could beat Apple (AAPL) to a voice-controllable TV. More →
Sharp is reportedly working to supply Apple with 32-inch and 37-inch LCD panels for its Siri-equipped HDTV. Manufacturers could begin building the new televisions as soon as the first quarter, DigiTimes said on Tuesday, and a public launch could occur in the second or third quarter next year. Samsung reportedly began building chips for the “iTV’ devices in November, too. The Wall Street Journal said earlier this month that Apple was already beginning to pitch the voice-controlled TV to top media executives and an article in The New York Times recently said that Apple will “absolutely” launch a TV with Siri-powered voice controls that will replace the remote. Tuesday’s report is in line with an earlier report from an analyst that also said Sharp will provide the displays and that a mid-2012 launch is possible. More →
“A revolution is happening in the living room,” Microsoft proclaimed late Sunday as it unveiled a new update to its Xbox 360 software that enables Kinect-based voice controls for a variety of multimedia content. Repeatedly emphasizing voice controls as rumors of a Siri-enabled HDTV product from Apple that may launch this summer heat up, Microsoft announced a new wave of content set to hit its Xbox platform on Tuesday. A variety of on-demand services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and EPIX arrive on Xbox on December 6th, and nearly 30 more content sources including Verizon FiOS TV and Vudu will arrive later this month. “A new era in entertainment begins where all your entertainment is together in one place — your games, movies, TV shows, music and sports,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, in a statement. “With this update, Xbox 360 system owners will experience Kinect voice control integrated with Bing search, making your TV and entertainment experiences more social and personal than ever.” Microsoft’s full press release follows below, preceded by an infographic outlining the evolution of TV and entertainment. More →
During Microsoft’s press conference at E3 in Los Angeles on Monday, Casey Hudson, the project lead for Mass Effect 3, announced that the game would be available on store shelves sometime in March 2012. Ray Muzyka, BioWare’s chief executive officer, also said that the Mass Effect 3 will take advantage of Microsoft’s Kinect controller, and gave a brief demo of how it will work, showing how gamers will even be able to use their voices to direct squad members. The BGR team is here in Los Angeles, so be we’ll be sure to bring hands-on impressions of the game as soon as we can.
Today Microsoft’s Larry Hyrb, also known as Major Nelson, announced that Microsoft has added Netflix support to the Xbox 360 Kinect accessory. Using Kinect, you’ll be able to browse your Netflix queue by waving your hands or speaking out loud, which means you won’t have to go searching for your Xbox 360 controller just to watch a movie. Controls include the ability browse, play, pause, fast forward and rewind, and you can perform any of those actions using your voice or gestures. Hyrb said the update is available now and that Kinect users should expect to be prompted to apply the patch the next time they launch Netflix. More →