Comcast is working on 'Siri-like' voice technology for its cable boxes

Brian Roberts Comcast 8006Business InsiderComcast CEO Brian Roberts

Apple and Amazon get lots of buzz for infusing their gadgets with slick voice recognition features.
But Comcast, the country’s biggest cable company, wants to get in on the act too.

The company is working on new technology for its cable boxes that will let consumers speak into their TV remote controls and quickly replay sports highlights and access other favourite video clips and content.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts showed off the new technology at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference in New York on Tuesday. In an on-stage demo, he showed how a user could quickly re-watch specific plays in a football game, like a touchdown or a particular player’s interception, by speaking a few words into the remote control.

“We think that the use of DVR and voice capability really is a game changer,” said Roberts.

He described the voice recognition features as something Comcast was working on in its labs, and which would eventually be offered to Comcast customers with cable boxes that run the company’s new X1 operating system. But Roberts did not say exactly when the voice technology would be available.

Both Apple and Amazon already offer voice recognition features in their TV set top boxes. But those devices only let consumers watch online video content like YouTube videos and existing television programs, while Comcast provides live television programming, including sports, to its cable TV customers.

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