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.
It’s sounds pretty cool but with every other carrier coming out with almost the same feature, how do you think AT&T will do?