Voice-enabled set top boxes
Feb 15, 2022

Voice-Enabled RDK-Based Set-Top Boxes Bring Greater Control to Media Companies

Media companies have been striving for years to make the viewing experience as seamless and frictionless as possible. They’ve improved guides and settings, crafted remotes, provided advanced search functionalities, and supplied personalized recommendations. As consumers increasingly demand convenient, efficient, and accessible means of accessing content, companies have also turned to voice AI technology for their set-top boxes. 

With voice-enabled set-top boxes, users can search for movies and shows quickly and easily even if their hands are occupied or if they’re far away from the tv or remote. Voice assistants create a new level of functionality where users don’t have to enter titles using only small arrow keys or figure out the correct button to press for subtitles. Queries can be asked naturally and conversationally without having to learn the workings of buttons and screens. 

Voice-enabled set-top boxes also open the door to expand use cases beyond basic search and functionality to also include monetization opportunities that bring value to the user. Voice assistants broaden the possibilities of what viewers can experience while increasing revenue for companies. 

SoundHound and Netflix partner for voice-enabled RDK set-top boxes

Netflix and SoundHound partnership

SoundHound recently announced it will partner with Netflix to provide a voice AI interface for its Da Vinci Reference Design Kit (RDK) solution. The addition of the voice user interface will allow operators to provide more convenient, easier, and hands-free experiences to their subscribers without the need to develop a voice solution on their own—thereby reducing time-to-market and costs.

The SoundHound and Netflix solution is expected to reach a significant number of consumers as the RDK platform continues to gain wide adoption for video set-tops, broadband gateways, and IoT devices. In May 2021, adoption of the platform surpassed 80 million device deployments worldwide, according to RDK Management.

In May 2021, adoption of the RDK platform surpassed 80 million device deployments worldwide.

RDK Management

Through the new solution, end-users will be able to easily navigate their watching experience by saying things like:

  • “Show me funny TV shows on Netflix”
  • “Find me action movies, but only ones from the 1990s and don’t show any movies that are over two and a half hours long”
  • “Play The Witcher instead”

In addition, users will be able to access their set-top box for voice commerce, such as ordering food or controlling other devices in the home by saying things like:

  • “I want to order a pizza”
  • “Turn down the family room lights”
  • “Who’s at the front door?”

Want to learn more about how consumers could use voice-enabled set-top boxes? The following video includes voice commands to easily navigate content, seamlessly control playback functions, and even order food or control devices in the home. Watch the Netflix and SoundHound voice-enabled RDK-based set-top box demo.

Rising consumer demand for greater convenience and ease of use has created more opportunities to bring the power of voice AI to products—extending the functionality of the device while providing easier access to content, purchasing opportunities, and even controlling other devices in the smart home.

Voice interaction is an important part of the entertainment experience and the open-source RDK solution will allow operators to easily add a conversational voice interface to their viewing experiences. The combination of Netflix’s Da Vinci Reference Design Kit (RDK) solution and SoundHound’s independent voice AI platform is designed to meet the needs of operators looking for more control, cost savings, and the ability to deliver an industry-leading conversational experience without the need to develop it themselves.

SoundHound joins the RDK community

Being a part of RDK’s open-source platform is an exciting new opportunity for SoundHound, expanding its user base and opening up the possibilities of adding its advanced voice AI technology to more devices around the world. The open-source nature encourages collaboration and enhances innovation while reducing development time for operators. Catering to broadband, cable, and IoT devices, some of RDK’s global community members include Comcast, Accenture, Deutsche Telecom, and Charter Communications. 

The RDK open-source members are advocates for bringing complete control over data, aligning with SoundHound’s own mission and vision for the future of voice experiences. To improve voice assistants and meet customer needs, it’s essential for companies to own, view, and have control over their user data. 

Voice-enabled RDK set-top boxes are launching a new age of functionality, efficiency, and ease of use for viewers. Media providers looking to increase revenue while providing exceptional customer experiences should consider the benefits of voice AI technology before their competitors join the voice-first era. 

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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