You can’t lose your voice down the back of the sofa
“You can’t lose your voice down the back of the sofa“, so says Sky’s chief executive Jeremy Darroch. And with that in mind, Sky are developing an enhanced voice interface for their Sky Q service. Plans are afoot for later this year when Sky will be trialling the ability to control your satellite receiver without having to use a remote control at all. You can already use voice control using the mic built into the Sky Q remote and many media streaming boxes, such as Amazon Fire TV, have had comprehensive voice control via their remotes for quite a while.
Details are still sketchy, but it appears Sky are claiming you won’t need to have a remote control at all. It’s promised that you’ll be able to do more that just search for content with your voice, but also schedule recordings and no doubt other tasks you’d normally rely on your remote handset for. Whether this can be achieved with the existing Sky box (where’s the ‘always-on’ microphone?) or a new version will be required remains to be seen. Perhaps it will be achieved via integration with Amazon Alexa or Google Home; or maybe Sky are developing their own add-on smart speaker.
If you’ve already got a home automation and control system from the likes of Control4 or Savant Pro, this will be old news. Users put away their Sky remotes a long time ago, instead using the improved ease-of-use provided by the control system user interface, whether that is a touch screen, app on your phone or tablet, voice control via Alexa, or a highly-functional remote handset controlling all your AV, heating, lighting and security (which, admittedly, you could still lose down the back of the sofa!)