Opera Software today unveiled technology designed to allow computer users to control home entertainment systems with voice commands.
The Scandinavian browser firm promised that its voice-enabled electronic programme guide (EPG) would make it possible for people to interact with devices including DVD players, DVRs and digital TV set-top boxes without having to negotiate several remote controls.
According to the company the system can, for example, simplify navigation through the daunting number of television channels available today, as users can sort through information by talking to the set-top box.
Voice-enabled EPG, which is based on IBM's ViaVoice speech recognition technology, is designed for inclusion in "multi-modal interfaces" which can offer multiple forms of input and output including speech, keyboard or handwriting.
It is written in the XHTML+Voice multi-modal programming language and is available in English with initial targets aimed at enterprise customers and developers.
Jon von Tetzchner, chief executive at Opera Software, said: "The integration of voice with data is a natural evolution and has enormous potential in the integrated home media market.
Igor Jablokov, director of multi-modal and voice portals at IBM Software Group, added: "Opera is a leading player in making technology easy and accessible for people in their everyday lives, and the voice-enabled EPG is not science fiction. It is a compelling demonstration of what you can do with web technologies for home media."
Opera's voice-enabled EPG announcement was made in the run up to the company's launch of its forthcoming voice-enabled edition of the Opera browser for PCs.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago