Way at the back of the south hall in the EHX section Amulet are showing off one of the coolest bits of Media Center kit at CES.
Their prototype Amulet 2nd Generation Voice-enabled Remote looks like a fairly normal Media Center Remote but has a built in microphone for voice control.
The really neat thing is how the voice control is activated. When you tilt the remote vertical a light shows illuminating the microphone and you can then just say your command. No need to prefix the commands with a safe word as say with OneVoice instead of saying OneVoice Goto Music you just say Goto Music, Play Artist U2 etc.
Of course the proof is in how good the recognition is. I was very impressed – My voice is quite difficult for Voice Recognition Software to analyse with its strange English accent and bass content but I picked up the remote and was recognised immediately. Even when I stuttered over an album name it played the correct name. I had one hundred percent recognition in a noisy hall. Compared with my experience of OneVoice at home where I would get about 80 percent recognition at best that is phenomenal.
The voice control can be used with the normal Media Center interface but Amulet have also added their own native Media Center app to streamline media selection with voice. This is a very impressive user experience and I could see myself using this even if I didn’t use voice control. It is a bit like a cross between mymovies and media browser but incorporating Movies, TV and Music.
Connection to the PC is by a combination of RF for voice and IR for control.
The unit is only a prototype but they have announced a manufacturing deal here at CES and the unit should ship Q1 for $249 which sounds expensive but when you compare it with buying say OneVoice software and the array microphone you would need to operate it is very comparable.
If you are still at CES I highly recommend checking the Amulet stand out and if not we will have Amulet on the show sometime soon.
Oh and I also forgot to mention it is also a learning remote.
Update: website is at www.amuletdevices.com