June 20, 2007
| by Ben Hardy
Why just the other day I was writing about a new voice recognition chip that promises to improve upon what I find to be a frustrating and flawed technology. And lo and behold what do I come upon but a voice-activated TV remote control by InVoca.
Sold through SmartHome’s Web site, this $44.99 device may score coolness points for the host of a viewing event, but it also might seal our nation’s fate as the laziest in the world. First came the remote, which kept us from having to leave our seat to change the ol’ black and white. Now we don’t even have to lift our arm to point the silly thing at the TV. You know where this is going: thought-activated remote control. Don’t scoff. The R & D folk at some company are surely working out the telepathic details.
Back to the InVoca. It can control up to 4 A/V devices (cable, TV, DVR, DVD, etc.), and can be programmed for up to 25 single-word commands and 25 multi-step commands. Just like setting macros with a smart home controller, this little beauty can respond to a voice-activated command like “Movie” by initiating a series of pre-programmed events—TV turns on, DVD player powers up, tray opens, etc. The InVoca 3.0 can be programmed to respond to four different users, in any language or accent. (This is the part where I say, “So it claims – I’d love to hear personal accounts.”) The remote has a battery charging cradle, which is a nice touch.
Seriously—it is the epitome of laziness, but for $44.99 it’s a pretty cheap way to impress the guys when they come over for the game.
Between watching re-runs of the “The Jetsons” and convincing his Insteon and Z-Wave controls to get along, Ben Hardy is immersed in the world of home automation, home control, and home networking.
Between watching re-runs of the The Jetsons and convincing his Insteon and Z-Wave controls to get along, Ben Hardy is immersed in the world of home automation, home control, and home networking.