Tuesday, January 10, 2012

At last – an electronic device that understands me, literally!

In Las Vegas this week is the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES. Whether you know it by name or not, you have probably heard that this is THE event that announces all of the new gadgets that we cannot live without. This is a fabulous show, too, or so I have been told. Started in 1967 in New York City, this show is only open to those in the “biz,” or people who would market or sell these new fangled things and not the general public (us...). Nevertheless, the press is at this show and they are eager to let us all know vicariously what the latest technology is, soon in a store near you.

What caught my attention is the new smart phone app that basically becomes your TV remote control.* The best part is that there are no buttons to push (thankfully! because when I can’t get my TV remote to do what I want, I am hell bent on pushing EVERY button on the wretched thing...repeatedly and vigorously!). This literally turns your phone into your own teenager, but without the cost or dirty laundry. You can speak into the phone and tell it what you want your TV to do. How great is that!?

I recently got an iPhone and as much as I could never figure out why people gushed so much over their iPhones, I can now. It’s cute and smart and now I can even talk to it! “Siri, call my husband. Siri, set an alarm for 3:15...” and then it DOES the things I ask! They are also working on adding “gesture recognition,” which I would probably have to alter based on the gestures I currently make to get the TV to do what I want. [Does it recognize the throw-on-the-floor command?]

Think of the independence I will soon have. No longer will I need a spouse or child to help me record a TV program. No longer will I have to suffer their looks of exasperation or mocking laughter at trying to switch from DVD mode to regular TV. Ha! I can say to them. I don’t need you any more (well, at least for TV-related activities)! I have an app for that!

The next generation of these gadgets will use face recognition to identify who is running the show, which will make this gadget even better. It scans my face and knows which shows I like and what to offer me.

This technology is really fantastic and applicable to so many other facets in your life. You could inventory things, keep track of dates, and explore new alternatives, literally just by asking! Think of how much easier it will be to get prepared for just about anything! Wow, welcome to 2012, everyone.

See the article in the LA Times: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2012/01/ces-2012-vlingos-brings-a-virtual-helper-to-tv-viewing.html

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