Log in

View Full Version : Amulet Devices Release Voice Activated Remote Control

Andy Dixon
09-08-2010, 02:00 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/2010/09/05/amulet-devices-voice-activated-remote-lets-you-control-windows-media-center/' target='_blank'>http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/2010/09...s-media-center/</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"Voice control of Windows Media Center isn't anything new, however, a fairly new company is getting in the game with a novel voice activated remote called the Amulet Remote (it's actually their 2nd generation product - see 1st gen. here), which is expected retail for $249. The remote looks just about like every other Windows Media Center remote on the market, but this one has a built-in microphone that lights up when held vertically to take commands. To get it working all you need to do is insert its companion USB dongle to your HTPC and install Amulet Devices' setup software that will catalog your photo slideshows, music, movies/videos, and TV recordings. Once everything is in place you can access content, record programming, jump within video timelines, skip ads, and more just by using your voice. (UPDATED) The catch, however, is you'll have to navigate your content through Amulet Devices' Media Center app to gain the full benefit of the product, though it does work with the native Media Center UI. If this sounds like something you'd like to add to your home theater setup, Missing Remote has a comprehensive review of the remote that you may want to check out before you buy. A video clip of the Amulet Remote in action is attached below."</em></p><p><object width="600" height="360" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/u4bICvp815s&amp;feature=player_embedded&amp;ap=&fmt=18" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/u4bICvp815s&amp;feature=player_embedded&amp;ap=&fmt=18" /></object></p><p>I'm not a big fan of voice activation in anything, mainly because for some reason&nbsp;it never seem to be able to recognise what I am saying. I assume it's my accent that causes the problem, but I usually end up manually doing whatever I am asking for myself.&nbsp; I'm sure this will work for some people though, and I'm sure it will work well, but will putting the remote horizontal and saying 'Play!' be any quicker than actually pressing the play button?</p>

09-09-2010, 09:57 AM
Thanks for the coverage, Andy.

I agree completely that there's not much benefit for most people in simply replacing the traditional IR buttons with voice equivalents. Where voice really comes into its own is when you need to make a selection from a large number of alternatives.

Examples include choosing a song or album by your favourite group, skipping to an arbitary position within a movie timeline, viewing a TV channel from a satellite feed with hundreds of channels, etc. Doing these in the traditional way with a remote control involves many button presses, menu navigation, etc, and a single voice command feels much more natural and intuitive.

Also, to clarify a point in the original article: while the Amulet interface screens do provide additional on-screen feedback to your spoken commands, the commands themselves work perfectly well within the normal Media Center. If users prefer the standard Media Center interface to the new Amulet screens, they can still use all the voice commands to full effect.

If you get a chance to demo Amulet, I'd love to hear how it gets on with your accent. We had very good results at CES and EHX when random visitors to our stand tried it with no prior training, and a wide range of accents and dialects.

Eddy (Amulet Devices)