Samsung NZ launches gesture and voice-controlled TV
- — 23 April, 2012 22:00
Samsung has added new models to its New Zealand television range, including a Smart TV that can be controlled entirely by voice and hand gestures, the company announced this morning.
The ES8000, which is on shelves now and comes in 55-inch and 60in models, has a camera mounted on top of the TV to allow users to use their hands to gesture at the right app on their TV, then 'click' on the app by making a closed fist. The TV does come with a remote control, but it is not necessary to use it.
The TV also has two microphones mounted next to the camera, and responds to voice commands like "channel up" and "web browser". If users are in a noisy room, the remote control has a microphone built into it so they can speak into the remote.
Samsung New Zealand's TV and audio-visual manager, Glen Chean, showed off the device at a showcase in Auckland.
Chean said the device would "change the way people interact with their TVs".
The ES8000 is compatible with a USB mouse and keyboard, which could come in handy given that the TV has an in-built, Webkit-based web browser. The browser supports both Flash and HTML5.
Samsung also has an Android app, called Samsung Smart View, so users can control their TV from their Android devices.
When users want to upgrade the operating system of the ES8000, there is a hardware slot built into the TV that will enable them to plug in what Samsung calls "Smart Evolution Kits".
Unsurprisingly, technology like this doesn't come cheap - the 55in ES8000 has an RRP of $5,500, and the 60in comes in at $7,000.