Feature Friday: Voice Search For Your TV
So Amazon launched its over the top TV device this week called Amazon Fire TV. I took some time today to look it over.
It looks a lot like the AppleTV and Roku devices that many of us have.
But there is one feature that Amazon Fire TV has that AppleTV and Roku don’t have and that is voice search.
It is unlikely that any of us have this device in our homes yet, but I thought it might make for an interesting discussion today.
Does talking to your TV sound like a better experience than picking up a remote and pointing it at the TV? Will the experience actually work. Or will it be another Siri that is more frustrating than helpful?
I am going to get one and try it out. But I’m curious what folks think about this voice search feature.
I am guessing you mean “talking” instead of “taking” your TV, “Does taking to your TV sound…”
thanks! just fixed it
Just think of the enormous cognitive effort you avoid.With luck in another few years we wont need limbs at all.Who knows – they could float us in a tank of entertaining nutrients – Hat tip to the MatrixEr in case its not clear – I find this a ridiculous excess 😉
and oculus / VR
If voice input for commands or search work efficiently on tv then it is even more likely to get adoption due to the proximity of the device. Siri is an issue sometimes as the phone is in our hands anyway.What is great if voice works on TV is that it makes total sense to use it.A lot of people will be using the TV for conference calling and skype and will be using voice anyway so to make voice commands to answer the call will make sense.I believe the future looks very bright for voice interaction with numerous devices. Makes thought to input much more fluid than typing. It will get better and better and I truly believe it will gain mainstream adoption across the board as per http://www.rottentomatoes.c…
Hmm – can you see the TV taking control of itself – plenty of scope for silly pranks
don’t think so. haha
I’ll take the other side of this one and we can connect post xmas and the winner orders the wine.I think it’s a fail because behaviorally booming across the room seems more the stuff of a SNL skit. And nothing really works well enough tech wise to cross that chasm with cats, dogs and kids chiming in.Give me an app on my phone and I’m happy.
excellent point.for a group it could be a fail.for one or maybe a family or couple might help.but app on the phone and ipad is a def contender.overall in a film like Her it really shows how voice can be done properly.
My first M & A deal for a voice company was in 1994. I’m an early believer. And a fan of that film.But this is not a solution for the LR. Techwise in abstract sure. Behaviorally, socially just aint going to happen in my opinion.
really think voice is what we as humans love to use to communicate. find it easy to say ‘see what sport is on’ or ‘8th floor’ etc. I am certain we will see more and more devices allowing us to control them via voice. In the home first. Coupled with the Internet of Things.
Time will tell.
if we preferred pure voice, then text messaging wouldn’t have exploded as it has…in-person communication still trumps all other forms of communication, but *voice* is only one small aspect of that experience.The hardware will need to read body language, understand context, and *then* voice communication will put it over the top…but we have MILES to go on the context level first…and the whole body language thing has *barely* been touched by technology…So I think we are still very very far away from this reality…
I don’t think we are very far away. The xbox360 is the media player of choice in our tv room. I quite often use voice to control it, it’s pretty good. I find it easier to say “xbox turn off” than hunt for the remote that my 6 year old has stuffed under a cushion 😉
What happens when a character on the show you are watching on channel 5 says “change the channel to channel 2”?
I would love to see AVC support a voice -> discus experiment -All hell would break loose in the comments (but good functionality for helping engagement generally)
how would one build that?
think maybe either a poll, or allowing voice to be included in comments. That would be great through soundcloud embedding.
so you voice comments instead of type them. sometimes that is.heck you could even do video if you like.
Easy (slightly tongue in cheek – but “for real”) – You walk out your door – buy a couple of trays of beer and a pizza or two and invite people who know the disqus API, some Html5 and maybe a google voice recognition api or two and a bunch of smart students to a loft for a weekend.You tell them they will be personally acknowledged on a Disqus “credits” page if they can build a usable prototype. (to be judged by AVC community).You tell them if it really works Disqus will consider hiringIf Disqus like it they get the software and a PR / HR boost in exchange for some kudos a foosball table and a minimal budget.(At least that’s how I’ld think about it )
Throw in some wit.ai for the VNLP.
Timothy Meade given link simply throws up an empty web page on chrome Version 33.0.1750.152JS console output freezes onConfiguring landing module 89ecbeb2.landing-app.js:Seems to fix on a reload – but uncached reload breaks againGood luck
TV seems like such a dated concept, and Amazon Fire TV seems like a form of reverse engineering.
Last summer went to my in-laws house. The had five different remotes, each with about 20+ buttons. They were out shopping, so I tried for 15 minutes on my own to get a movie working, eventually gave up and read a book instead. No idea if this is the right solution, but radical simplification is definitely needed.
voice would have solved all of that!
what film, what book?
To be honest, I don’t recall. The lasting memory is one of just intense frustration.
“Your Disqus account has been created! Learn more about using Disqus on your favorite communities.Get StartedDismiss ×”what is this?
Talking to machines is common in science fiction because it allows for exposition. In real life, though, it’s easier to tap, type, click, and flip switches.A better innovation for TV would be a Nest-like device that learns what you like and when you like it, and defaults to those programs. Amazon is well placed to create something like this.Come to think of it, Twitter is even better positioned to build a Nest for TV. Twitter already knows from my tweets that I’m a Giants fan, that I watch Game of Thrones, etc.
If Disquss had a Like button I could like this post. Nest sounds MUCH better than voice for TV.The second innovation I’d like to see is to make TV faster. Switching between channels especially.
See that little ^ sign – click it !
I did, but upvote/downvite ain’t no like button.
There’s a favorite star at the top of the Disqus thread. Click it. cc @kwiqly:disqus
Your second point is spot on, the software should do that anyway as that’s a much more globally useful feature.I do think talking to my TV would be useful, as I will do anything to cut down on navigation.- I talk to my iPhone to text- For quick things, I ask OK Google or Siri….. “How old is Henrik Lundkvist”.. “Is it raining”.. “How many people live in the state of NY”My guess is that outside the tech industry, fewer people use voice services. My friends are always baffled when they see me doing the above. That said, I have an Xbox One and the “Xbox tune to NY1” accuracy is just not there yet, I want it to be, but it’s not ready.
I spend most of my time outside SV but have been there for 4 months.. I can’t think of the last time (or ever) I have seen someone use Siri (or OK google) save maybe to ask about where to hide dead bodies.Re voice to TV, quick search and on demand selection would be great, i.e. “Grizzlies game”… in general, guide search on TV is very broken compared to any other device we use (mobile/ ipad/ web) largely because typing is a hassle and culturally it used to be normal to “channel surf” – but now we want specific content on demand.
Is “a Nest-like device that learns what you like and when you like it,” not the best oxymoron to have been written this year 😉
better still, the hovering TV that becomes mobile and follows its master’s voice around the house. this is the absurdity of the fixed TV.
If it’s mobile than how is it fixed?
you already have a hovering TV?
One of my favourite news articles of all time: If TiVo Thinks You Are Gay, Here’s How to Set It Straight
oh god, i love that piece. i cite it regularly.
Link didnt work for me – this one did http://online.wsj.com/news/…
That is a funny article (with insight) – I haven’t heard the term “the willies” since thirty years ago when my brother-in-law asked my father for my sisters hand (a few years back) – My dad said – but I thought you were gay and my brother-in-law retorted – “No they just give me the willies”.FWIW This is true story not meant to be homophobic but entertaining – but its a true story (and BTW I have gay relatives who I love – so judge not !)
My dad said – but I thought you were gay and my brother-in-law retorted…I hate that we live in a world where you can’t say something like that without having to apologize for it ie “not meant to be homophobic”.Of course you can have a play like the “book of mormon” or any other of a million literary, movies, tv shows and comedy etc (with rape, incest, homophobia) and literally say and do anything you want and people except it as expression. But you can make a single comment like that without people getting all bent out of shape.
Ah, come on, cool off, relax, and realizethat people do react to what the MSM put out, and the MSM needs to grab peopleby the heart, the gut, and below the belt,always below the shoulders, never betweenthe ears. Scandal, sin, corruption, discrimination,etc. are among their favorite tools. The reasonsare clear: The MSM need the eyeballs to getthe ad revenue! Smelly bait for the ad hook!You don’t actually pay any attention to the MSM,do you, or pay attention to people who do?
@LE:disqus I agree. So I would rather apologize a thousand times than offend once – BUT don`t you just wish everyone could man-up grow a pair 😉
Typing with the remote and on-screen keyboard on a roku or apple tv really sucks. It’s almost as bad as using T9. Maybe a remote w/ a keyboard like boxee box’s had is sufficient, but it is pretty magical to see a voice search that works. My fire tv arrives today, looking forward to giving it a try.
Yeah, I’m not a fan of typing when it comes to TVs either – I was referring to communicating with devices in general (e.g., leaving this comment). For TVs, I shouldn’t have to type anything. It should know from my social media history what I like and offer me relevant choices accordingly.
I use the Apple Remote on my iPhone for input. Works well.
and i suppose you could use the voice input keyboard too, right? Never really tried that – something about the AppleTV interface bothers me (and I use amazon instant video a lot)… Only thing I really like about it is airplay.
that’s sort of what we’ve been working on with Shelby.tvlook at the strongest signals we can get, then connect you to content you’re interested inwe don’t play with premium content (now), but could/would in the future
That is what Netflix has devoted years of research and work to. It has some value but I find it still doesn’t really capture my interests and it does introduce the risk of the ‘bubble’ effect whereby existing tastes are overly reinforced.I do think this model works better for music because a song is so much shorter and we are more ready to experiment with songs than with say a two hour movie. The recently announced Aether Cone is a music player which uses machine learning to shape your experience and thereby change (simplify) the UI. We will definitely see a lot more smart objects of this kind. It surely won’t be long until we witness the announcement of the world’s first smart vibrator.
> That is what Netflix has devoted years of researchand work to. It has some value but I find it stilldoesn’t really capture my interests and it doesintroduce the risk of the ‘bubble’ effect wherebyexisting tastes are overly reinforced.That’s right. See my http://avc.com/2014/04/feat…in this thread.The Netflix Challenge is a problem badly formulated,in short, from your “interests” where I explainedmore in my post.Beating the Netflix Challenge should be easy enoughin part because don’t follow their poorly formulatedstatement of the problem.So, how the heck do formulate and solve the problem?Hmm ….I know; I know; we have an app and we swipe; that’sgot to be the key, right? Then the only questionis, develop for Android or iPhone first, right? Usemachine learning, artificial intelligence, speechrecognition, the interest graph, right?Nope!
I’m holding out for the telepathic remote, an iteration of Mr. Spock’s Vulcan “Mind Meld,” where you and your remote become one.http://en.memory-alpha.org/…
I don’t see Twitter being able to build a reliable device for TV. It might know your preferences for sports and entertainment, but I (and I’m guessing many others) don’t use Twitter that way and all I would get would be APIs and IoT!
> A better innovation for TV would be a Nest-like device that learns what you like and when you like it, and defaults to those programs.Ah, now we’re back to LIAD’s> I didn’t say Wild Coed Spring Break 2.> I was saying, errr, what’s on channel 2.More generally, an effective recommendation engine is more complicated than that. E.g., what a person ‘likes’ is a massively ill-defined question with no good answers, ever. Instead, at least the question must be something like,What the heck will I like considering X, Y, and Z that, maybe, I’ve never considered before.E.g., I’m looking for something for my brother’s kids to watch on Saturday morning; I’m looking for something the guys will want to watch before Monday Night NFL while I get the chips, dips, and beer ready for the real game; I’m looking for something my girlfriend and I will watch so that I can increase my chances of getting laid tonight; I’m looking for the best things for 12 kids to watch before Thanksgiving dinner; I’m looking for a cooking show that will let me impress my girlfriend, let her know that I have a ‘softer’ side and that I don’t refuse to step into a kitchen and do respect her and believe in ‘equality’; you get the idea.Net, asking what a person will ‘like’ is a horribly, badly formulated question and, thus, so far a huge waste for engines for ‘personalization’, ‘recommendation’, etc.Uh, curiously and significantly, the question can work for ad targeting.Remember, likely you heard these points first here.Then, a good solution will be more complicated than just some such ‘learning’.Can there be such a solution? Well, yes, and for not just ‘search’ but also for discovery, recommendation, curation (e.g., a list of 20 cooking shows that are guaranteed to get you laid at least 40 times), notification, and subscription.How to do that? Hmm ….’Curation’? Sure, have your sister send over not just her five kids but also a ‘curation’, as a URL, of TV shows that will keep the kids quiet, not throwing water balloons at each other while sitting on the silk damask sofa, and staying quiet while you finish off a spreadsheet. So this ‘curation’ is not for just what your sister likes or even her kids like in any simple sense but what your sister knows, from her judgment, will keep all the kids well behaved for two hours or so.
If you want something you and your girlfriend will like, you can enter her twitter handle and the device will mine her timeline too and present you something from the part of the Venn diagram where your interests overlap.
Amazing.But still likely not very useful.The goal I mentioned was not to find a TV show thatis within common interests but, using your judgment,finding a show that will influence her emotions toresult in your getting laid. So, you want a showthat will be appropriately romantically stimulative.This is the ‘meaning’ you want in the content of theshow. So, you need a way to search, discover,recommend, etc. with a good approximation to that’meaning’.The two Twitter feeds are not promising as inputdata.Is there some promising input data? Hmm …!
Sure it’s useful. And the twitter feeds don’t have to be the only sources of data. It could draw from IMDB, Metacritic, etc.
I was not clear enough: I would assume data like IMDB.It’s just that, even with such assumed data independent of the two people, to me Twitter feeds just will not be good enough data on the two people themselves to do well in any significant sense. Instead, need much better data on the people and their movie interests.
Voice is how we have chosen to communicate with other humans.Why not devices.
The best human servants don’t require much in the way of voice communication. They see an empty glass and they know to fill it. Why not devices?
because in your use case they would have to read your mind that a) you want the glass filled up b) what you want it filled up with. voice would be the next step. ‘Pour me another shot of vodka’ or ‘Some Coffee please’.
If you’ve ever been in a restaurant with old school service, you’ve seen how this works. The waiter comes over when your glass gets low and proceeds to fill it with more of whatever you were drinking, unless you say or gesture otherwise. The less talking required, the better the service.
What they do is really observing and polling. They run through a list of things that they observe and act when something is triggered. Water empty refill unless hand waiveed.Machines (mechanical) work this way as well.If you have paper in the input of a printing press the paper stack is constantly raised (mechanically) as the paper is pulled into the input. Very simple. And a bunch of other simple things like that all geared to the same machine speed.So you are talking about actions that have been reduced down to being able to be done with very low intelligence and rote actions.http://youtu.be/TyzixxNJS9c…
Would you program your wife if you could (assuming of course you have one)? Just a tiny bit?
People also come equipped with touch based interfaces that are extremely popular with many, due apparently to an enhanced direct communication experience 🙂
Discussing an experience you’ve never had is like imagining your first kiss or imagining loosing your legs in an accident.
Then again, the discussion here is such high quality that some good will likely come out of it, see Dave Pinsen’s comment 🙂
You have to fantasize and imagine the first kiss with many frogs to end up finally meeting your first prince.
I’ve been legless – heck I’ve even lost my head in a crisis – but that first kiss – that’s a douzy – but a gentleman would never discuss !
Well as we all know already the fantasy is way better than the reality of many things.
No sweetie.You misheard me.I didn’t say Wild Coed Spring Break 2.I was saying, errr, what’s on channel 2.
Nothing could be worse than using a dpad to navigate an on-screen keyboard. If it’s done well, I think it could be very intuitive. User interface on the TV needs to be disrupted — smart TVs are being held back by traditional TV input devices. The traditional remote is inadequate. And a keyboard or mouse on the TV doesn’t make sense either.
Makes me think of “the clapper” for some reason. Clever marketing, but seemingly small market for the feature. Clap on, The Clapper.
Or that other product….what’s it called….you know the one…”…help, I’ve fallen down and I can’t get up…””might as well watch a show while I’m down here”
My ex father in law was in that medic alarm business (and the alarm monitoring business). He had to get out because of the liability insurance that he had to pay because of that product. Had no problem selling it.  The buyer of the product wasn’t the old lady by the old ladies children which is where he directed his marketing. Old people generally don’t think they need things like this.
fear is quite powerful. selling fear works.
Depends on the quality of the search and recognition. Google Now is awesome, I can happily use it in a noisy pub and it works fine. Siri is basically useless, it only gets it right if I SPEAK VERY SLOWLY – and certainly not if there is background noise.With great recognition and search I’d be interested.
I like the idea of voice for TV and movie search. And I hope it helps your find the remote when hidden
Not directly related to Amazon Voice Search feature but there is a great Praxtime article on voice interaction with computers: Is the next big thing the iEar? http://praxtime.com/2014/03…
Here’s how we watch TV.- Kids: pick a show, watch for < 1 hr. Netflix kids works fairly well, but the discovery experience there still isn’t great (it’s slow).- Parents: pick a show by reading reviews, watch 1 episode a night until we’re all the way through. Pick a movie occasionally. Netflix works ok for that. Discovery could be better.- Struggle with remotes.
xbox360 has a pretty impressive voice capability that lets you control the box and search. I use it more than the kinect motion control.
all of these solutions aren’t quite compelling enough for me until they add a full live sports stack (that doesn’t costs $180+ for league pass)… the only tv i watch live is sports. my wife maybe watches 2 shows regularly, and we watch hbo series and movies occasionally. yet sports has held me back from the full cord cutting mantra.does anyone have a good solution for that use case yet?
Samsung smart TVs have had voice controls for quite a while. Nobody I know who has one uses the voice controls except the first time they get it. – bit of gimmick
Great example of “lack” of innovation. Innovation would be Talking to your Phone at noon and have your phone talk to your Remote at when you sit down to watch the ball game at 8:00.
Doesn’t sound too appealing. Voice command sounds a lot like 3D T.V. Sounds cool but in reality is not a great experience (gives me a headache).What I keep leaning towards are systems that know your inputs without you having to put them in. So if you were to sit down and Roku, Apple Tv etc said something like you missed last weeks Game of Thrones, or a new series started which is very similar to The Wire, would you like to watch?That would really be awesome.
This was predicted by The Goldbergs. A 2014 show about the 80s: https://www.youtube.com/wat…
The voice interface will improve as it becomes more mainstream. It has to be coupled with ML where it anticipates what you want due to behavior. In the world of TV it is a matter of enabling the ML. Not too far from now, we will be worried about the right translations via telepathy.
The secret weapon to this device isn’t the voice feature, it’s the game controller (and the gaming support they are planning on rolling out).Without the gaming bit, this is really just a ‘me too’ product that is a bit clunky on the hardware end (compared to the chromecast and roku dongles)…they may have interesting purchasing history/data to help improve the overall experience (but I think they’ll put that into their app on the other devices too).However, at $100 and working with some popular gaming companies/titles, this could be a *very* affordable gaming console for the home and get some serious uptake just from that…
Yes, cheaper. But could this replace/compete with XBox, Wii, etc??
At the price point, it will not need to compete – it can compliment (gamers are happy to own more than one system)…but it really comes down to the titles…rumor has it that it will have a Minecraft offering soon, and I think that alone will help the system sell (my 10 year old would drop the cash for it right now, just on the rumor of it, if I allowed him to)
Good point. I have a Minecraft enthusiast at home as well. But his income isn’t as high as your 10-yr olds. So he can’t afford this. ;-)He’s real happy to play on the macbook pro.
Ok, there are three of us that have 10 year olds that love minecraft. Part of me says I hate game the other part says its electronic legos.
Yes – Minecraft is insanely popular among all the 7-12 year kids I know…I actually set up a minecraft server for just my kid’s and their friends to play on (spoiled I know; but also trying to use it to get the older one to understand this is all stuff *he* can do and learn too).We limit the overall “screen time” we allow our kids (and Minecraft falls into that category) but def. agree that it’s both better than other things and yet still pretty evil 😉
Definitely see it as legos on steroids. I think it’s really great for his spacial relations and tech skills.
Mine can only afford it because he’s saved money he got from Christmas and such…but I continue to try to get him motivated to start his own little business (been helping him learn to program various games and such in hopes that one will excite him enough to see it through and eventually hook his friends and grow his business from there)…a father can dream 😉
Mine has started off lower tech, cutting yards and shoveling snow. Good winter for him.
Outside activities FTW!
Waxing cars is another one. Go door to door in upscale neighborhoods. Bring along a girl if he can (I’m assuming you are talking about your son). Girl is not essential but makes the homeowner more likely to engage.Waxing is where I first learned that people buy based on perceived value not the amount of work.Back in the day I could get, say $30 to wax a small sports car but I couldn’t get $60 to wax a large Cadillac. I could only get $35. (I started before I could drive..)Same goes obviously for lawn mowing and snow shoveling which I also did. Small lawn more dollars per work hour.Another kid idea I have that your son can do: Replace bulbs in houses and offices. You know those high ceilings are a pain to replace bulbs in (you need either a ladder or an extension device). Other thing is replacing flourescents in offices. Nobody knows how to do that and offices in small complexes don’t have crews to do that type of work like larger complexes do (they are individually owned). I just had to replace fixtures in an office I own because the tenant mangled the fixtures (which they paid for of course..)I’ve got 50 other ideas like that. (I don’t have a son and my stepson isn’t the right age yet for this type of thing..)
As a boy I collected newspapers for recycling, mowed lawns, did Magic Shows and as a Clown made balloon animals.(I still have my first advertisement – made on Dad’s Selectric)
Loved those balls!. Loved the sound of the Selectric.I made money typing invoices on a Selectric.http://www.youtube.com/watc…
My first “Video Game” was on a Selectric. You typed ( ) a bunch of times at random over a page, went back to the top and held down the space bar. When the “target” came into view you tried to hit it with an “X”…Better than Pong, man….
Clip art, superscript and fractions! Check out my mad layout skills.
Well great minds think alike. No snow, yards haven’t started. Guess who is going to learn to wash and wax a car this weekend for the price of a nice orbital polisher I bought? You don’t even have to go door to door these days. I would say the under over is 3.5 jobs that he gets directly from doing mine. I’ll teach odds while we do it.
That’s great. They must make the job much easier I never got to use one of those.See the picture below. I decided to clean my car and picked some stuff that I had laying around that I thought would be safe.  I started to spray and it didn’t seem to do the trick. Then I decided to check the label. Turns out you can’t use this stuff on certain things.So I went back in side and picked a totally safe cleaner that I had around.And then I realized the difference between being your own boss and working for someone else (like I didn’t know).I could make that mistake and not get yelled at. So in other words I wasn’t slowed down by worrying about being wrong. As a result I can afford to take small chances and clean up the mess afterwords. So if I damaged the interior I would just get it fixed.I then labeled all the cleaners so I wouldn’t have to think next time or read the small print (I’m into efficiencies like that anything to shave off some thinking time.). I’m normally more careful obviously.
Ah, but it is teaching a lesson that you always preach.The one thing I had to learn was that spending money on good tools is worth the investment.Being cheap is not always being wise.So I will show him how tough it is to do with a rag to have him learn what he wants to do without power.Then he will get the $100 Porter Cable super awesome polisher. http://www.amazon.com/PORTE…No different than the Honda Mower I have: http://powerequipment.honda…Or the trimmer: http://www.stihlusa.com/pro…I don’t let him use the trimmer or chain saw. JLM and I strongly disagree on brands for the small engine stuff.
The one thing I had to learn was that spending money on good tools is worth the investment.”The right tool for the job” has always been a cornerstone in my thinking. Anytime I deviate from that I often sorry.I learned way back that you could not use 2 60cpm volume copiers to replace 1 120cpm volume copier.  The higher volume unit was the right tool for the job.Stihl iirc is the company that ran an ad in the WSJ (full page) saying they don’t sell to the big box stores.http://www.stihlusablog.com…How unusual is that? Most companies (and I’ve seen this way back from the days of buying stereos) always gravitate and cave and go big box. It’s really quite unusual to say fuck you to that sales channel.I really like that strategy. It feels good to take a bit less (and be able to do so) and not have to kow tow.I’d love to be part of the discussions that go on at that company as to what they see as the risks and benefits. Obviously it isn’t all about loyalty to their dealer network. Some but not all of it.And the reasons on the blog page (link above) don’t highlight the most important reason. We don’t want to be Home Depot’s bitch. My dad, when I was a kid, didn’t want to sell to Sears because he was afraid they would sap all his inventory and he would loose his small store base (he did sell to department stores but they weren’t national but regional chains so was not all eggs in one basket.)Porter Cable is a great brand as well. Not that there aren’t cases where it’s better to have 2 slow machines than 1 faster machine.
> Then he will get the $100 Porter Cable super awesome polisher. http://www.amazon.com/PORTER-C…Careful, very careful, in waxing a car and especially using a power tool for any of the work. Risk: Far too easy to damage the paint, seriously. With any power tool next to car paint, be more careful than walking on eggs. The cost of repainting a car could really set you back on revenue for a whole summer.Really, for late model cars, waxing/polishing are not so good ideas. Wash? Okay, if careful.Guessing? No, been there, done that.’Polishing’ usually involves using some abrasive to remove the top, oxidized layer of paint. So, ‘polish’ a few times and no longer have any paint.Net, ‘polishing’ car paint is not ‘good’ for the paint but a disaster.Yes, for a car, say, 10 years old and badly oxidized, the paint can look very dull. Then polishing and waxing can make the paint look much better but maybe not for very long. Still, basically are hurting the paint.Be careful. Likely get some advice from several experts.When I was a teenager, a friend and I offered to polish the car of an uncle of the friend. The uncle was no dummy, successful in business, and had a nice Cadillac. He smiled and turned us down. Smart uncle.Having to cough up enough cash for a high quality paint job for a car could seriously ‘throttle’ all this excitement over ‘drive, energy, and hustle’.
As a teenager, I did a lot of work on the yard of our home. Dad got me started, and the work went well.Then, yes, I got some offers to do yard work for some of the neighbors.Looking back, I could have had a quite good business but didn’t. Also looking back, I’m glad I didn’t try to go for a lot of ‘energy, drive, and hustle’ because I no doubt would have gotten in a lot of trouble from doing damage to the yards of customers and/or myself. No joke.(1) Business 101. Yes, a teenage boy will need quite a lot of tutoring on ‘customer relations’, ‘reliability and responsibility’, ‘marketing’, having the needed knowledge, being careful, doing good work, balancing CapEx and revenue, ‘pricing’, building a ‘reputation’, etc. Good. A boy 12-16 can’t be expected just to guess these lessons alone, and learning them ‘the hard way’ would not be good.(2) Dangers. Yard work can be dangerous. Some obvious, first dangers are sunburn and dehydration. Next, if, say, use a sickle to cut some weeds, it’s super easy to cut a leg or arm — been there, done that. Especially with power tools, it’s super easy to throw dirt or rocks into an eye, and not just own.Using a weed trimmer can be darned dangerous: The trimmer companies are smart enough to give warnings, and the warnings are correct: To use a trimmer, likely need ear and eye protection, and certainly need some hard plastic or some such ‘armor’ for the lower legs. And should be using heavy work boots and not just sneakers. The ‘goo’ thrown out by a trimmer can cause skin infections from Hell, even under at least two layers of heavy cloth.Lawn mowers are dangerous: E.g., it’s super easy to slip on wet grass and have a foot slide under the mower or pull the mower over a foot. My brother lost a big toe this way. Steel toed shoes anyone? Would have saved my brother’s big toe.As a teenager I did a lot of grass mowing and never got into any serious trouble, but I worked only on really simple, non-fancy lawns and yards and, still, came close to getting into trouble. For some ‘fancy’ gardens, I still wouldn’t know how the heck to mow the grass, keep the grass cuttings off the walk ways, stone steps, petunias, etc. And the owner will likely not be happy to have their carefully cut stone steps or pavers chipped by a poorly aimed lawn mower blade. Getting grass cuttings in the owners swimming pool? Not cool.Weeding? With Roundup? Works great, but can injure/kill pets, kill shrubbery and trees, etc. Dangerous stuff.Poison ivy? Really want to work around that stuff? Spray it with Roundup, right, and maybe kill a tree.I did quite a lot of hedge cutting, but I was close to getting into trouble. If I’d tried to exercise ‘energy, drive, and hustle’, then I would have gotten into trouble. How? For delicate, artistic hedges, what the heck to do with the clippings? Can’t just let them fall, say, on the petunias, grass, or walkways. For some big hedges, the required work can be quite heavy stuff; need a ladder and some heavy tools, and need a way to handle a dozen cubic yards of clippings.For trimming shrubbery, if don’t know what are doing, then have an easy way to make a mess that would be expensive.Weeding a flower bed? How the heck to do that? It’s not trivial.I’d strongly suggest that a teenager doing yard work for pay have a LOT of quite well informed supervision and/or work only on really simple jobs.For more, just accept that need to learn some things, really more work than, say, learning to program in Python. Maybe need to know some experts, take some courses at a community college, learn about the various plants and how should treat them, etc.As a teenager, I was guessing that I had opportunities for much more yard work, but I also saw that, really, doing much more would get me into situations were I really didn’t know what I was doing and would likely (now I would say, certainly) get into trouble, maybe costly problems or serious medical problems.Really simple yard work can be fairly simple. But just taking on nearly any job in a neighborhood is almost certainly a path to disaster. Be darned careful.Of course, if you don’t mind that your teenager boy lose an eye or two, a few fingers and toes, get some serious cuts, break an arm falling off a high ladder trying to trim a hedge 20 feet high, etc. and have some really good medical insurance and medical care, etc., then sure, go ahead. Maybe he will earn enough in a summer to pay for his Capex.Besides, think of all the really good ‘character building’ and ‘business lessons’ he will learn! Should be worth an eye, a few fingers and toes, some liver damage from Roundup, etc., right? I mean, we want to teach him about ‘the real world’ of ‘energy, drive, and hustle’, how to be ‘tough’ and a ‘man’, and not coddle him, right? Besides, if lucky, your son might be able to go 2-3 summers before losing his first eye! What’s not to like!
Separate issue your son will have a huge advantage over his peers for having to do things like this. And for having to make money to buy things.My daughters were raised by their mother (divorce) and I can’t get them to try to earn a buck doing anything. Great grades and all of that but this is a bit of a disappointment.My daughter is graduating and I was thinking of businesses that she can start. But then I realized that she really lacks the foundation that I had when I was growing up. Where things become intuitive.
The trailer introducing Amazon’s game studio and games in the work looks pretty good albeit with an indie feel to it (I suspect this is due to the lower capabilities of the Fire TV).https://www.youtube.com/wat…The approach that they are taking is not dissimilar to the classic gaming business model where console manufacturers have their own gaming developers to churn out exclusive titles to entice consumers or even Netflix’s approach on TV shows.It will be an interesting space to watch, particularly on the indie space. Also, this may change the landscape for OUYA given the Fire TV’s similar price point, financial backing and additional host of app support (e.g. Plex).
I had that same “me too” response to it. But I also thought, “ah, this is something I might get.” And it’s because I have Kindles and Prime. So they’ve got that workin’ for them, too, I think.
You’re right. Games is one of the unique features of the Amazon Fire TV. It is supposed to support thousands of games.http://mashable.com/2014/04…
I think this should be a common function in Smart TVs and streaming devices in general. However, the remote control is a dated concept. I find myself constantly navigating through terrible UI just to change a simple setting should end. I am a little put off by the need to press a button just to speak to my device, manufacturers should have the option of always on to navigate.Hopefully Kinect-like voice navigation will be a common feature going forward, I’d like my Netflix (or Amazon Prime Video or anything I do on TV) experience to be:- *Device* Pause- *Device* Play- *Device* Skip opening introAll while I have both my hands free to munch on that nice big tub of popcorn…Coming from the point of a consumer with a set of modern TV appliances (Smart TV, Chromecast, game consoles (Xbox 360 with Kinect and PS4) and now-retired cable box),On another note, I was pretty impressed by the main features advertised by various tech news websites especially Amazon’s serious venture into gaming.
I prefer to have my TV talk to me. Oh, wait, it already does that when I watch shows.But seriously, I think this voice “search” will work well when you know what you want (e.g. Game of Thrones”). But may not work so well for things like “What’s on tonight that I might like?” or the problem Netflix’s algo has been trying to solve all these years: what do I want to watch, what might I like?
Verizon Fios has search where you type in the letters and it comes up with a list of choices.Problem is just like early search engines it gives you to many choices. So if you sorta remember that there was this show on CNBC that you saw a commercial for and start to type “money game” or whatever you get a list of a zillion choices because “money” is a common word in titles. And if you typo you get nothing.Voice doesn’t really improve on this that much. Which is your point. You still are presented with many incorrect choices it doesn’t know enough to know that you probably mean the show that was just advertised.Or let’s say it’s November and you say “jfk”. You don’t want the thing produced in 2009 you want the thing done in 2014 and that are running ranked by, say network. Or perhaps the network that you normally choose. In other words some intelligence built into the search rather than 1996 search.
i know a lot of folks who enjoy the voice commands on their xbox kinect, so there’s that.trying to find something specific via remote is awful, though that’s probably due more to the fact that cable providers have the worst interfaces ever. who needs 5 different menu options?! sigh…
It will absolutely be better than picking up the remote for SEARCH. Right now, I want to watch anything on FiOS VOD, I have no less than 14 keypresses on the remote control. Even if I have to try my voice command 3 times, I bet it will be shorter than the rigmarole that I have to go through with the remote control.AppleTV is shorter, but not by much.For BROWSE, I suspect it will be a wash.
Years ago when we were exploring technology to change open outcry markets to electronic markets, we saw some nascent tech with voice recognition. But it wasn’t very good. I like this feature. I hate fumbling with the remote and trying to figure out what buttons to push. Simply saying what I want, and having the computer in the TV do it for me is awesome.
I hate fumbling with the remote and trying to figure out what buttons to push.This part could be fixed. No reason a remote has to be a small form factor with small buttons which make no sense.The reason this hasn’t been fixed is that the remote control market has no reason to innovate and come up with something better. You don’t choose your cable company (it chooses you) and you don’t make a cable buying decision based on how nice the remote control is. Besides if a cable company did change the remote a competitor (in the same market) would just follow. So it’s not a win it’s an additional expense. It’s not going to sell more HBO or Showtime.Remotes could be greatly improved on and distributed by the broadband providers (see my other comment) they just have to want to do that. It can be done. Just think how bad they are. Do you seriously think that a better remote couldn’t be produced?Look at what the iphone with phones after some thought was put into it.
Can’t wait to see your review of this. It sounds great to me, if it actually works. The search functionality with Fios is like dropping acid. In a bad way.
Jokes aside about old men being years ahead of their time because they talked back to TV all the time, there may be a pony in here somewhere.When you think about interface, it seems the trend has been to increasingly making the technology disappear. So we’ve gone from command line to mouse and icons, to tapping and now to voice. The trend seems to make sense, with the remote eventually disappearing altogether further down the line.Siri, Google’s voice search, Cortana, Microsoft Kinect, and now Amazon Fire TV seem to all point to voice being a next big opportunity. So while the implementations may not always work out, it seems they are directionally correct.
Pain Factor of Alternative + Result Magic + Timing/Context = likeliness of adoption.Currently the PFA is pretty high and there’s enough familiarity with voice input that T/C seems sufficiently conducive.BUT the Result Magic is still missing. ReadWrite’s Dave Smith has a good review: http://readwrite.com/2014/0…In short: search results are severely limited (don’t span all services, faulty, etc.)
I ordered one of these things (even though I’ve already got an AppleTV). I’m very curious about the voice control. I like the idea a lot, but it will depend on the way it presents the results. Netflix makes it pretty easy to navigate among the series that we’re in the middle of and I like the row of recommendations that they give at the bottom of the screen as they often lead us to our next series. But I really like the idea of looking up an actor/actress by name rather than doing that damn up/down arrow keyboard thing. I think it will open up discovery a lot as I’ll be far more likely to try searches and see what comes up since there’s not the remote/keyboard tedium cost associated with them.
The Xbox One has awesome media control features. It can function as an overlay to a cable DVR and uses IR to control it–I never would have thought that I would enjoy the voice commands or use them, but saying ‘Xbox, watch ESPN’ quickly replaced hunting for the remote under a couch cushion. So much so that I consciously have to stop myself from shouting at our TV that’s not hooked up to the One.
Well, it looks like we’re headed towards more voice recognition everywhere, and each company is trying to get better at it, so we might as well continue to improve them by using these first generation ones. Btw-Apple just quietly bought another voice recognition company http://venturebeat.com/2014…, and with Microsoft’s Cortana, the battle for “voice agents” is definitely on.
Fred, have you also tried the new Roku Streaming Stick? (you might as well add it to your Fire TV order) It is supposed to be better than the Chromecast, and comes with a remote http://www.roku.com/product…
We had a great discussion on this topic @ProductHunt the other day: http://www.producthunt.co/p…
Xbox has voice search. I thought it was cool at first – didn’t really have any issues with it but i always forget to use it because using a controller is convenient.I prefer email and text over talking on the phone because it is less intrusive. I think the same applies to TV voice control.
The real game-changer for TV will be the content, not the interface.By coincidence, this game-changer arrived recently in the form of Popcorn Time.Finally, the service that everyone has been waiting for…It’s like Napster for video – so I’m told 😉
Voice search is clearly a much needed improvement to the AppleTV remote, and it’s even a step in the right direction from Amazon by moving the primary search function from the top box itself, as opposed to the phone/tablet and using an AirPlay like feature (wish Amazon supported AirPlay in the first release).Where Amazon took a big step in the wrong direction was emphasizing the remote as the primary input method. The top box should be controlled primarily through a tablet / phone. Part of the reason the Apple TV remote can’t really get any worse for search/input is because Apple will make the 2nd/3rd central to controlling the TV viewing experience. That includes Siri for voice search. The basic Apple TV remote should and will stay just as it is today – as a hybrid – perfect for basic navigation, pause, play, rewind functionality.
How long now before Apple TV gets full iOS App support with full voice interface ?
Hopefully this year – no idea – but it’s becoming clearer and clearer that their current input method falls short.
Its actually very good, but so far only searches Amazon content. Once its able to work across the apps it will be stellar.
Buster, we just got a new Samsung Smart TV. It has voice recognition and it “kinda” works. Same technique as the Amazon Fire. Press a button and talk into the remote. I’d say it’s 50/50 hit or miss. Though fun to play with. Not sure how much I’ll use it, but neat to have.One cool thing it does is take general requests like, “Show me a list of all sports programs on right now”. And that works fairly well.
Voice can work but it needs to work correctly and not need me to repeat myself over and over again. There are a number of voice commands I use on my Moto X all the time.
I’m all for voice functionality as remotes are probably the least functional text entry devices on the planet.
Chromecast and Google TV have already had this for quite some time, and their implementations are only getting better and more practical. I’m a bit surprised not to see this point shouted about in today’s Kindle coverage.For example: launch youtube on the android phone you always carry, chromecast connect to your TV, voice search the way you normally would *when that feels like the natural way to you*.To answer your question: sure, voice search is a great way to go *when it feels like the natural way to you*.
PS: as an older example, attached is the universal GoogleTV app, looking much the same today as it did a few years ago, voice search highlighted.PPS: it’s fascinating to watch chromecast development and adoption FLY past googleTV et al.
we should have our Fire TV today (so much for next day shipping, huh Amazon?) and will come back with a reviewother devices we own and have tested: Roku 3Vizio/Google TV boxoriginal Google TV boxes by LGBoxee (all versions)Apple TVSamsung SmartHubChromecastXboxQplay
an important point to make about Amazon’s strategy here…they probably didn’t feel they need to be first… they can let everyone launch and flatline/fail… they just needed to get something out there that was good enough, that seems like an improvement, and has enough of a story that they can then market it to their MILLIONS of customers who are 1-click away from purchasingfuck, i mean i already bought one and they’re still hitting me with this letter from Bezos…
So to use this you have to have a HDTV? (That is also what the marketing page seems to imply).
well, it connects via HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) so… yeahalso marketing it that way probably answer the question that many potential customers will have, which is “but is it HD?”
In other news, a unicorn got it’s horn today in Chicago. Way to go GrubHub. They were MBA students at U of C, won the New Venture Challenge (2006), and IPO’ed today at the NYSE. The 2007 NVC winner was bought by PayPal for $800M. There is a lot going on in the midwest.
i’m picturing a war between kids/siblings screaming at the top of their lungs to get the channel they want
Not sure I’d want to talk at my TV. I hear that’s generally a bad thing ;)Where my personal viewing patterns are going is more towards a seamless experience across devices: I’ll start watching something on mobile or tablet, then I’ll want to push it to the big screen, and vice versa. That process seems to work ok on both Chromecast and to a lesser extent AppleTV (Airplay is great for iTunes stuffs and some AppleTV apps like the most excellent Red Bull one). I’d be curious to talk to folks who prefer voice search.
Samsung smart TVs already have it. I don’t use it. The problem is that most of us don’t want to have a handful of remotes, so voice search on one device is of limited value because you still have to use conventional search on your other devices. (The same limitation as using a bluetooth keyboard for interaction with media devices – doesn’t work with all of them.)
I use the voice feature on the Xbox One a lot more than I thought it would, it’s definitely not a full replacement from the controller but a great addition. It’s great for when you can’t find the remote or have your hands full and want to just pause the tv.
I think this is the failing of the Amazon voice command is that it’s part of the remote and not part of the box. If it was part of the box it would solve a problem, as it’s part of the remote I struggle to see what problem it’s fixing.
I am pretty meh at this device (and Roku, Apple TV, and the hundred other devices like them).The problem in television is better monetizing the vast majority of time spent viewing which is background viewing or companionship viewing rather than inventing another yet another very clever UI for appointment viewing. Getting more ARPU for the Today Show will be much more important to the bottom line than helping you navigate to Game of Thrones easier.That said… Assuming it works well voice search will be better than trying to type.
New to the party. Noticed that comments don’t show up in mobile site. Anything to do about that?
Having tried this on XBox, Samsung and LG TVs, etc. the answer is it will depend on how the voice recognition works and then what they do with it. The microphone placement on the remote may help, but we will see as people watch TV in all positions some of which affect voice. Also, it will depend on what result that has. Beyond reliable channel tuning or volume control, will the search function return useful information? That was one of the Achilles Heels of GoogleTV, giving you 500,000 useless results when all you wanted to do was watch something. Will it favor Amazon content? While that may be reasonable technically, it won’t help TV watchers.This is not easy, so I am not negative, but when looking for something to watch the numbers of databases to search is growing. Real time versus streaming versus on demand makes having all the choices difficult, yet that is perhaps what is wanted. I want to see someone get this right, but none of these look to so far. Therefore, I am pleased to see another player pushing the market.Now, let’s see how Apple responds shortly.
The device I am looking for to solve this problem is really a dedicated piece of hardware that replaces the current remote control. And uses touch like it should. Not voice.That device would have a touchscreen and simply make it easier to find what you needed in your hand and/or navigate. It would be a smart device perhaps it would know which member of the house was using it. Maybe it would even have some advertising on it as well. It would be supplied by the cable companies instead of the current remotes.It wouldn’t have small buttons so I could see what I was doing w/o reading glasses. I’m guessing Brian Roberts doesn’t use his own remote nor does the Fios CEO for that matter.It would be something that I could use while running on the treadmill or doing exercise. That’s a big issue it’s really difficult to change to a new channel while exercising (and forget voice there is to much noise).The solution isn’t an app that runs on your phone either. It’s a piece of hardware that is essentially “in the den” or “in the bedroom”. While putting it on your phone or an ipad seems like the right way to do this I don’t think it is.As Steve would have wanted, it would have a large screen and a nominal amount of physical buttons. And the buttons that it had wouldn’t be the size pencil points either.
First, there is a fundamental problem: It’s stillTV, that is, the boob tube, that is, the greatwasteland.I need to return my cable TV set top box to my cableprovider. I’ve had the box for a year where it gaveme a lower price on the phone and Internet service Iwant, need, and use, but I never used it. Now thatthe special one year price drop is over, it’scheaper to return the box and just cancel the TVservice. Or, maybe they will give me another oneyear deal essentially for just storing their box andtheir being able to report to TV people one more’subscriber’.Give all the voice commands into all the speechrecognition software and search software want, andstill can’t get Chambertin from what flows out of myseptic tank to water my backyard!More importantly, search for TV, especially from alarge collection of TV shows, especially oldershows, just can’t do with such a user interface.Yes, such search is important, for people who likeTV, and some of old TV can be okay, but that userinterface just won’t cut it. Sorry, guys.Net, it’s at best a rapidly forgettable gimmick butnot the first such.
I think it’s good for children that don’t write/read. My kids can search images and videos on Internet using that trick.
Game of thrones 4 sezons
Fire TV Voice Search analysis from a family that watches TV 10X watching movies: + accurate voice-to-text; – doesn’t understand “How I Met Your Mother Season One Episode Four”; – does NOT search across other content apps like Roku does; – my spouse won’t use it; and – can not use Fire TV with a universal remote control – no IR on the Fire TVSo it’s back to our Roku 3 for us.On the other hand, we are switching from iTunes/ATV for purchased content to AIV instead
I have xfinity which has a remote app for my iPhone. It was a huge pain to setup the remote, but I never lose my phone and always have it near me when I watch TV. The most advanced remote that represents another item that can’t be misplaced will never be more convenient than the most basic smart phone app. I do think voice search would be nice, but bringing the experience to a device that doesn’t get lost seems more valuable. Perhaps, this opinion just speaks to my demographic: college student who lives with several roommates. Adults with fewer people sharing a TV might not lose the remote as easily.