Hey Vacuum Cleaner, I Think You Missed a Spot!

RobokingSpeech Technology Magazine reported on a new product partnership that could make it easier for you to talk to your robotic vacuum cleaner and control your air conditioner with voice commands. Conexant Systems announced that it will integrate its Far-Field Voice Input technology into home appliances manufactured by LG Electronics. The press release explains that Conexant’s voice processing input solution will provide the speech input signals to power voice controls for LG appliances.

We’ve already seen LG’s voice activated TV remote. An article published earlier this year in the Daily Mail described LG’s Roboking, a sleek robot vacuum that can be controlled with basic voice commands and clapping.

It remains to be seen how the Conexant and LG partnership will improve the voice interactions we have with our home appliances. Earlier this week, we looked at Honda Motor Corporation’s Asimo and some of its communicative shortcomings. Based on Asimo’s performance, service robots and robotic appliances still have a long way to go to catch up with the conversational abilities of the best customer service virtual agents. Perhaps we’ll see other partnerships in the future that will bring about the merger of robotics and virtual agent technologies to bring us smart appliances we can really talk to.

How about an appliance that can answer our questions about how to operate it or that can assist in troubleshooting a problem it’s having? The possibilities are limitless. I just dread the day when my refrigerator starts counting my calories out loud. That’s a talking appliance I can do without!