Voice-enabled remotes and TVs
May 24, 2022

How Voice-Enabled TVs and Remotes Innovate the Viewing Experience

A successful TV viewing experience means the viewer is as immersed in the content as much as possible with few to no interruptions that frustrate them or take them out of the experience. These frustrations can include typing in titles using small arrow keys, navigating through massive catalogs of content to find the right entertainment, trying to turn on closed captions, needing to pause the show when the remote is nowhere to be found, and more. With voice-enabled TVs and remotes, these pain points can be overcome by offering fast, efficient, and hands-free interactions. 

Voice assistants in TVs and remotes are becoming increasingly popular as more viewers experience the benefits. TVs have evolved greatly in the last few decades, going from cable to streaming services and smart TVs. As the technology continues to expand and reach more viewers, voice-enabled TVs and remotes will grow to become a household staple. The trend has already begun with 44% of surveyed U.S. households having a TV remote capable of voice control as of March 2021, according to Statista.

While typing and swiping still has an appeal for certain devices, having to navigate tiny buttons or get up to reach the remote or buttons on the TV interrupts the user experience and causes frustration. Today, voice assistants are expanding the possibilities of how users can interact with their TVs. 

SoundHound and VIZIO evolve the smart TV experience

Vizio and SoundHound Logo Lockup

SoundHound and VIZIO have already experienced great success with the rollout of a voice-enabled VIZIO remote and app in the spring of 2021. Since then, the VIZIO Voice experience has seen daily voice queries double every quarter. Now, the companies are expanding their relationship to further innovate the TV viewing experience to voice-enable a majority of VIZIO’s TVs and collaborate on interactive experiences—including voice commerce opportunities.

SoundHound’s advanced voice AI technology integration into VIZIO’s voice-enabled remote and mobile apps allows viewers to speak naturally to search for TV shows and movies, change TV settings, switch picture modes, launch apps, check the weather, and more.

With its library of hundreds of content domains, SoundHound’s Voice AI platform opens the door to significant voice commerce opportunities. Together, SoundHound and VIZIO continue to innovate with a focus on the consumer experience and voice-enabled interactive opportunities for viewers.

Together, SoundHound and VIZIO continue to innovate with a focus on the consumer experience and voice-enabled interactive opportunities for viewers.

“At VIZIO, we always strive to deliver the best-in-class television experience to our users. With SoundHound’s technology integrated into VIZIO TVs, we are able to make the ease of voice interactions part of the TV experience,” said David Rudnick, Senior Vice President of Product Engineering at VIZIO. “Our goal is to always improve the user experience and help consumers find the content they are looking for with simple voice commands. Overall, remotes have never made finding content an easy task, but with voice, users can quickly find the content they want with the complex search technology happening in the background.”

The conversational interface allows users to ask questions such as:

“Show me trending TV shows”

“Launch Netflix”

“Show me animated family movies”

“Turn down the volume”

“Show me movies on WatchFree+”

VIZIO has always been at the forefront of providing cutting-edge technology and experiences to its users, so it was natural and seamless to integrate SoundHound’s voice AI technology with their product. As voice AI becomes more ubiquitous and a commonly used interface for consumers, we believe there is a big opportunity to extend voice AI into interactive and commerce opportunities.

Voice-enabled remotes and TVs expand possibilities

When a voice assistant is integrated with a TV or remote, the device’s capabilities increase beyond what users and manufacturers previously thought possible. Not only do voice assistants provide quick, convenient, and conversational interactions, but they also open the door for new experiences, such as smart home technology and monetization. 

Voice search excels and beats out traditional methods of typing and swiping when large catalogs of content are involved. Instead of having to select filters or type out names using small buttons, viewers can simply use their voice to find exactly what they are looking for. It also eliminates context switching—changing mental control settings—by having to go from watching a show to pressing buttons, removing the user from the experience and creating frustration. 

Voice search excels and beats out traditional methods of typing and swiping when large catalogs of content are involved. 

Voice-enabled TVs can also be integrated with smart home technology to extend the experience beyond the TV and into the entire home. With the TV acting as the central hub, viewers can further immerse themselves in the viewing experience by only having to use their voice to turn down lights, close blinds, adjust the thermostat, or preheat the oven—while continuing to watch their show without having to get up or switch devices. 

If the future of smart TVs is voice assistants, then the future of voice AI is monetization. Monetizable moments and voice commerce present TV manufacturers with the possibility of providing their viewers with value while proving ROI. 

Without a voice assistant, if a user wanted to order food or groceries while watching TV, they would have to completely switch devices—an extra step that could deter them from reaching for the device or getting up to grab it. In addition, it might not even occur to them to place the order without a suggestion or reminder. Voice AI technology makes monetization possible for smart TVs. With helpful prompts, TV manufacturers can generate revenue while reminding viewers of their TV’s capabilities. 

Did you know that according to our study with Opus Research, 87% of media respondents want to invest in voice ads and shopping? Want to learn more about how top brands, such as Netflix and Sony Pictures, are voice-enabling their devices? Check out our research report, The Business Value of Customized Voice Assistants.” 

With companies like Netflix and VIZIO investing in voice AI technology, there will soon be a turning point in the voice-first era where voice-enabled TVs and remotes are no longer a luxury but a requirement to the viewing experience. Already, voice assistants’ capabilities of filtering large catalogs, integrating with smart home technology, and voice commerce opportunities are helping TV manufacturers revolutionize the watching experience. As technology continues to evolve, the possibilities of what voice assistants can achieve will continue to open the doors to more opportunities for brands across the media and entertainment industries.

At SoundHound Inc., we have all the tools and expertise needed to create custom voice assistants and a consistent brand voice. Explore SoundHound’s independent voice AI platform at SoundHound.com and register for a free account here. Want to learn more? Talk to us about how we can help bring your voice strategy to life.

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