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CES 2014: HAL© is a Voice- and Gesture-Operated Remote (Video) 46

Posted by Roblimo
from the open-the-pod-bay-doors dept.
According to the company's website, "HAL© is the future of television and media management. Using proprietary gesture and voice control technology..." In this case, HAL© stands for “Human Algorithm LTE.” It looks like it's a lot safer than the original HAL 9000, anyway. Is it ready for prime time? If their CES demo is any indication, not quite. They say HAL© is going to ship in the fall of 2014. The technology? They won't say beyond, "It's proprietary." Ah! Then it must be good, right? Another voice-operated remote control -- that's already available for purchase from major retailers -- is the Ivee Sleek. There are other HALs out there, too. Like this one. And this one, which is a home automation server that costs $2499.00 (& up). Anyway, the retail price for HAL(circle-C) is supposed to be $199 when it hits the streets. And even though it doesn't look like HAL© can do much that I can't already do with my Android phone, Skyvi, and a Chromecast, it might be fun to test and review once it's in production.

Maximillian (talking to device): “Remote reset tracking”. “Remote reset tracking”. Alright. Okay.

Timothy Lord: Maximillian, we are standing in front of a screen here at CES. I see a hovering hand on the screen. Can you explain that a little bit?

Maximillian: What you are looking at is HALTV. HALTV is a universal remote without the remote. We are trying to cut the cable between your TV and the six or seven remote controls that you have for your home entertainment system. So we’ve created a gesture and voice controlled interactive interface for your home entertainment system. As you can see, the hand is tracking my hand. I am not wearing any special hardware on my hand. There is nothing you have to lose or replace batteries for. And so what it does is it turns any TV into a smart TV as well as controls your entire home entertainment system, your set-top box, your DVD player, you name it. Mainly what you do with your TV is you watch TV. So let’s watch some TV. And here we have Cox Cable, here in Las Vegas. We can change channels up and down by swiping left and right.

Timothy Lord: What kind of sensors is it using to detect where your hand is?

Maximillian: Unfortunately, I can’t disclose the technical internals of it, as we are still kind in stealth mode until we launch in the fall. We will be launching in the fall this year, through the usual brick and mortar channels. MSRP for $199.99. You can also change the volume, you can mute the TV. As I said earlier, it is also voice controlled. The microphones are designed for a living room environment, not here at CES, so I apologize if it is a little sketchy. “Remote Change Channel ESPN”. Please work. “Remote Change Channel ESPN.” “Remote Change Channel ESPN”. There we go.

Timothy Lord: You got to be a loud talker in an environment like this.

Maximillian: In an environment like this, it does take a lot. And unfortunately, my voice is gone a little bit because I’ve been doing this for three days. But I imagine you can see it is a very natural interface to control your TV. You don’t need to learn any special gestures. In fact, the gestures are all customizable. You can take a video of yourself doing some hand motion and assign that to any function you like. In addition, the voice commands are also customizable. And so going back to our interface—“Remote Home Menu”. As I mentioned, it turns any TV into a smart TV. So what you are looking at here is our proprietary interface. You can swipe through the menus, it is a fully capable streaming device, using your typical streaming channels—Crackle, Google Plus. It also streams music Pandora, Spotify. We do photos, games.

Timothy Lord: Is there a pass-through so that other HDMI sources run through this box?

Maximillian: You can use it as a mainstream I-hub but what we are really trying to do is it to be a very easy integration. So we don’t want you to have to reinvent your whole system, you know, unplug everything, replug everything in. So it is designed to be just able to plug into your TV, and you don’t have to change anything. You can use it as a HDMI hub but you don’t have to. You can open your Facebook. Browse your Facebook right on your TV. As I said earlier, we will be debuting in this fall. Come see us at South By South West.

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CES 2014: HAL© is a Voice- and Gesture-Operated Remote (Video)

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  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:19PM (#45979761) Homepage Journal

    I checked the "do not show ads" box, so why the hell do they keep showing up in my feed?

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      I checked the "do not show ads" box, so why the hell do they keep showing up in my feed?

      Did it tell you, "I can't let you do that, Dave." ?

      • I checked the "do not show ads" box, so why the hell do they keep showing up in my feed?

        Did it tell you, "I can't let you do that, Dave." ?

        Probably, in one of those auto-playing formats that audibly blasts you out of your seat the second you load the site.

        Thankfully my "Speakers-Off" countermeasures save me from such tortures.

  • "Xbox play video" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mpoulton (689851) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:25PM (#45979799)
    Huh. I could have sworn Kinect already did most of this. What's the new part, exactly?
    • by lgw (121541)

      My Samsung TV has both voice and gesture controls, but neither is quite good enough - good idea, poor execution.

      My Xbone has both voice and gesture controls, but neither is quite good enough - good idea, poor execution.

      If these guys got it right, then I can see the value. I'd love voice control for my TV and attached devices that actually worked worth a damn, and didn't false-positive on the audio coming out of the TV! (C'mon guys, how hard could that be to filter?) But I'm guessing these are hard proble

      • by mythosaz (572040)

        I don't have a great need to talk to my television, but I find the basic voice controls on my XBox One fairly useful.

        Xbox Turn On
        Xbox Watch TV

        By the time I settle down, it's all good.

        I recognize it's not much faster than hitting the "watch TV" button on my Harmony, but it does impress the natives.

        Shouting Xbox Mute from across the room is fairly convenient, and the voice commands to snap in things from menus you couldn't get to without navigating for are useful. Saying "Snap NFL" is way easier than turning

        • by lgw (121541)

          Oh, I agree - there's a very minimal set there that's currently done well. But it's not enough where I don't also need my remote handy at some point, and really I find a button on a remote easier than talking to the TV, once the remote is already handy.

          Some combination of vice and gesture where I never needed the remote at all would really be great, but we're far from that.

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      Huh. I could have sworn Kinect already did most of this. What's the new part, exactly?

      The ability to lip-read.

  • Why the ©? (Score:4, Informative)

    by PCM2 (4486) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:31PM (#45979867) Homepage

    What is with all the HAL©, HAL(Circle-C) nonsense in the submission? Is that supposed to be some kind of joke? Looking at the website, the company doesn't style the product name that way. Is it supposed to be some sort of winking reference to copyright (hurrr, hurrr)? Because that doesn't make any sense...

    • Is that supposed to be some kind of joke?

      Yes, Slashdot's editing is a joke.

    • Looking at the website, the company doesn't style the product name that way.

      It sure as hell does, on the about page [www.hal.tv].

    • Is it supposed to be some sort of winking reference to copyright (hurrr, hurrr)? Because that doesn't make any sense...

      No. It means that the marketroid who wrote that canned blurb is a blooming idiot who doesn't know the difference between copyright and trademark.

    • I think companies who insist on putting copyright/trademark/registration symbols into their marketing should be required, in every verbal exchange with media, at every speaking engagement, and in ever recorded advertisement, to compel their representatives to speak the terms out loud.

      So, for example, should one of their sockpuppets be reading their press material at a conference, it would sound like this: "In addition to the revolutionary remote replacement, HAL *COPYRIGHTED!!* is also introducing wearable
  • They won't say beyond, "It's proprietary." Ah! Then it must be good, right?

    I think this may be the single biggest disconnect in logic© I have ever seen.

    • by Roblimo (357)

      Please set sense of humor to "on." We spotted that disconnect, too.

      • by twocows (1216842)
        It was hard to spot it as a joke when the rest of the article read like an advertisement©. Unless the whole post was satire, I guess, in which case it went right over my head.
        • by twocows (1216842)
          Oh, I get it now. Took me a few reads to get that it was criticizing the product in question.
  • by stox (131684) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:46PM (#45979985) Homepage

    Will it open my pod bay doors?

  • Comment© (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:47PM (#45979993)

    I was very Interested© to read about the Product© in the Article©. Thanks© for Sharing© this invention with US©.

  • No thanks (Score:4, Informative)

    by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:58PM (#45980087)

    I'll just continue using my regular infrared remote which works 100% of the time.

    • I'll just continue using my regular infrared remote which works 100% of the time.

      Well sure, it works, but when you change channels with that, you don't get to make a complete ass of yourself by repeatedly screaming the same command at your TV while doing an idiotic little dance!

      That's sooooo 20th Century...

  • TV! Get the fuck out of my life already!

  • It's a super special secret. Optical tracking! how does it work? Who knows? Why does it change the channel every time I take a bite? Why does it already work as well as five year old technology? HOW DID THEY DOOO THAT?

    Get this trash off the front page.

  • When one letter of your acronym is itself an acronym, well son, you done fucked up good.

Get hold of portable property. -- Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"

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