October 28, 2011

Next TV Interface, Siri Voice or Visual?

What will the next TV interface be, Siri Voice or Visual?

Nick Bilton (New York Times) speculates that Steve Jobs’ “I’ve finally cracked it” comment implies that the next TV interface from Apple will be using Siri. 
Mr. Jobs reiterated this sentiment in his biography, explaining to Mr. Isaacson that an Apple television “will have the simplest user interface you could imagine.”

So what could be simpler than barking commands to your television?
Yes, the TV user interface does need to change radically but will Siri Voice be that interface?

Siri to control TV’s may very well be under test but putting Siri as the sole TV interface seems unlikely. Siri technology is still immature. If Siri does not work 100% of the time for 100% of the people, it will fail as a user interface for TV’s. Apple surely is well aware of that.

The best use of Siri is when you cannot look at a display or use your hand; that is not the case while watching TV. Where both visual and voice interfaces can be used, the visual interface always wins (assuming a well-designed interface) and provides a superior experience – watching TV is one of those situations.

There is a much simpler visual interface possible for TV’s. And Apple has all the pieces to make it happen.