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AT&T U-verse Announces Voice Control App

by Roy Choi | September 26, 2012September 26, 2012 11:00 pm PDT

I am a fan of AT&T U-verse.  I appreciate the hi-speed Internet and TV service even more now that I don’t have it.  I always enjoyed its user-interface, ability to record multiple shows on the DVR and relatively competitive pricing.  As a tech fan I always appreciated U-verse’s mobile apps.  Obviously with new technologies there is always room for improvement.  But AT&T has done a fairly good job in releasing additional features to it’s U-verse apps.  Not like my current cable provider.  You know who you are.

AT&T announced today there is a new U-verse Easy Remote App, available to iOS devices via iTunes.  No word on when the app will be available on other platforms.  Easy Remote App promises to work along side other U-verse apps and physical remotes, but where this remote app stands apart from its predecessors is the ability to allow for voice controlled commands and gestures.  Not only is it cool, but AT&T touts these new features to help users with disabilities.

Check out the video and press release for additional features.

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AT&T* U-verse® is making it easier for U-verse TV customers, including those with disabilities such as vision and hearing loss, to control their TV with the new U-verse Easy Remote App. Available in the iTunes store, the innovative U-verse Easy Remote App lets customers easily use their iPhone or iPad as a U-verse remote control. Watch here to see the app in action.

AT&T U-verse is the first major TV provider to allow customers to use voice remote control capabilities. The app was built with a commitment to universal design and is optimized to give all users access to features to control your TV, including:

Multiple screen color, button and font size choices which let you customize your iPhone or iPad screen for a better viewing experience.

A voice initiated remote control to perform a variety of commands, including Channel Up, Channel Down, Fast Forward, Rewind, Replay, Pause, Play, Record and Go to channel (name or number).

A voice command feature that lets you choose a show you want to watch by simply saying the show title or channel number into your device.

iPhone’s VoiceOver screen reader, enabling you to hear TV show and channel information as you scroll through your programming guide.

Gesture commands, which allows you to control shows you’re viewing with different gesture movements.

One-touch access to closed captioning.

“Most Americans rely on their television as a critical source of news and entertainment and it is important that these resources be made accessible for all users,” said Larry Goldberg, director of WGBH’s Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM).  “It is great to see an app like Easy Remote apply many of the universal design features that improve access for customers both with and without disabilities.”

“We’re always looking for ways to improve the U-verse TV experience, and we knew this was an area where we could take a big step forward and use our IPTV platform to deliver a better and more accessible TV watching experience for seniors and customers with hearing and vision impairments,” said Maria Dillard, Vice President, U-verse and Video Products, AT&T Home Solutions. “Voice command and one-touch access to closed captioning are just a few examples of how AT&T is using universal design to develop innovative technology to improve the TV experience for all customers with and without disabilities.

The U-verse Easy Remote App is the latest app to utilize the U-verse Enabled platform, which lets customers easily connect their iPhone or iPad to their U-verse TV receiver over their in-home Wi-Fi network.  Because AT&T U-verse is 100 percent IPTV, customers with a U-verse High Speed Internet account can connect their apps to any U-verse receiver in the home through channel 9301, without needing special equipment, such as Internet-connected receivers or TV sets. To access Easy Remote, customers must subscribe to both U-verse TV and U-verse High-Speed Internet.

The U-verse Easy Remote App was initially developed by researchers at AT&T Labs.  The Labs organization is home to some of the world’s best scientists and engineers who focus their unique research capabilities and expertise on enabling the network and empowering users with innovations, such as the Easy Remote app.

The voice control functions of the Easy Remote app are powered by the AT&T Watson℠ speech recognition technology using AT&T’s Speech API, which uses advanced natural language processing to recognize and understand spoken words. Also developed in AT&T Labs, AT&T Watson℠ speech recognition technology has been powering advanced speech services in the marketplace for many years and is now available for third-party developers to use in their own apps.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.

Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com. This AT&T news release and other announcements are available at http://www.att.com/newsroom and as part of an RSS feed at www.att.com/rss. Or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT.

Geographic and service restrictions apply to AT&T U-verse. Call or go to www.att.com/uverse to see if you qualify.  AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet service is required to connect a qualifying device to an AT&T U-verse receiver for remote control functionality.  Data charges may apply.

© 2012 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. 4G not available everywhere. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.

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Roy Choi

Roy Choi is a Southern California native. He has been infatuated with technology reviews ever since he bought his first crummy laptop in the summer...

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