Voice Recognition Comes To Set-Top Boxes

Agile TV’s “plug-and-play” voice-recognition technology enables broadband operators to offer subscribers a cutting edge navigation solution – without complicated set-up or the need for training.Operators can integrate Agile’s voice recognition solution with Motorola’s broadly deployed DCT2000 digital set-top platform.

The Motorola and AgileTV solution enables consumers to control their digital set-top using just spoken commands. Subscribers can “talk” to their TV through a remote control with an integratedmicrophone, allowing for easy navigation of digital programming, the interactive program guide and on-demand services using phrases such as “Find The Sopranos”, “Scan Sitcoms” or “Find Movies withJulia Roberts.” The solution requires only a small receiver that attaches to the cable set-top to receive signals from the enhanced remote.

The technology, which recognizes over 100,000 phrases and deciphers multiple languages, has been field tested in an alpha deployment on Motorola DCT2000 digital set-tops with USA Media’s cablesubscribers for 15 months.

“The USA Media subscribers that tested AgileTV’s voice service gave it very high marks. It allowed them to easily find channels and programs they never knew existed. With a simple add-on device andthe new, voice enabled remote we could use the Motorola equipment already installed in our customers’ homes. It greatly enhances the value of digital, should help the industry reduce churn and givesus a unique product advantage over satellite.” said Jim Faircloth, COO of USA Media.

“Working with Motorola, we can deliver a highly accurate voice recognition service that is simple to use, requires no training, and no new cable set-top. The Motorola and AgileTV solution makes iteasier for consumers to access the latest digital cable services such as on-demand, and solves the navigation challenge resulting from the vast amount of programming now being offered,” said DavidHanson, Senior Vice President, AgileTV.

“Operators have been asking for voice functionality, and by working with AgileTV, Motorola can now provide a service that is easy for operators to deploy. Not only can voice activation create a morefeature-rich platform for consumers, it can create new revenue opportunities by making video-on-demand and other content easier to access,” said Carl McGrath, Motorola corporate vice president and general manager, digital core gateways.

“I have been following AgileTV’s development of a voice service for over three years. Insight invested in the company because their technology will help subscribers solve digital’s navigationalproblem and it effectively uses cable’s two-way broadband capability. The service can enable cable to have a true advantage over our satellite competition,” said Michael Willner, CEO of InsightCommunications.

Motorola and AgileTV will demonstrate the voice navigation service to attendees at the NCTA 2004 trade show (2-5 May, New Orleans, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center) at the company’s booth#3323.

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