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CES 2014: HAL© is a Voice- and Gesture-Operated Remote (Video)

Roblimo posted about 8 months ago | from the open-the-pod-bay-doors dept.

Hardware 46

According to the company's website, "HAL© is the future of television and media management. Using proprietary gesture and voice control technology..." In this case, HAL© stands for “Human Algorithm LTE.” It looks like it's a lot safer than the original HAL 9000, anyway. Is it ready for prime time? If their CES demo is any indication, not quite. They say HAL© is going to ship in the fall of 2014. The technology? They won't say beyond, "It's proprietary." Ah! Then it must be good, right? Another voice-operated remote control -- that's already available for purchase from major retailers -- is the Ivee Sleek. There are other HALs out there, too. Like this one. And this one, which is a home automation server that costs $2499.00 (& up). Anyway, the retail price for HAL(circle-C) is supposed to be $199 when it hits the streets. And even though it doesn't look like HAL© can do much that I can't already do with my Android phone, Skyvi, and a Chromecast, it might be fun to test and review once it's in production.

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Another Day, Another Slashvertisement (4, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#45979761)

I checked the "do not show ads" box, so why the hell do they keep showing up in my feed?

Re:Another Day, Another Slashvertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45979801)

I have mod points. Why can't I downmod the article? :-(

Re:Another Day, Another Slashvertisement (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 8 months ago | (#45979919)

You can, or rather, you could have. Click on Submissions. Vote them up or down. It's not hard.

Re:Another Day, Another Slashvertisement (1)

Arkh89 (2870391) | about 8 months ago | (#45980155)

If this was really working we wouldn't have had this wonderful article yesterday : http://science.slashdot.org/story/14/01/15/2349233/revolutionary-scuba-mask-creates-breathable-oxygen-underwater-on-its-own [slashdot.org]

& others probably (remember that article about Ctrl+Z for the ENTIRE internet?)...

Re:Another Day, Another Slashvertisement (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 8 months ago | (#45980191)

Ah, but how many worse submissions were downmodded and never ended up on the main page?

Re:Another Day, Another Slashvertisement (1)

foobar bazbot (3352433) | about 8 months ago | (#45980733)

Click on Submissions. Vote them up or down.

And watch the editors ignore the votes, and post whatever stories they like to the front page anyway.

The cool thing about /.'s moderation system is that, by default, the mod system works exactly as designed. The overlords do have an infinite supply of modpoints, as well as god-mode actions that can't be done with modpoints, but without action on their part, the moderation system just carries on working. As with so many things in life, pain is reduced to manageable levels by setting up an environment such that sloth opposes incompetence.

In contrast, the submission up/downvoting process doesn't ever promote a submission to a front-page article -- that process requires overlord intervention. Of course we get random retardedness, because that's what /. editors do best! What would help fix it (y'know, aside from editors who actually give a fuck) is a system that exhibits the same default-functional behavior as the mod system -- this could happen either before the front page or on the front page.

To implement a good system before the front page would basically mean giving the upvoting process teeth, so submissions with enough upvotes automatically post. This would make it easy for the overlords to sit back and not post anything, just letting content get upvoted to the front page, so we'd get a decrease in editor-generated/selected stories. If one trusts the readership to, overall, do a better job than the editors, we mostly win -- if not, the trolls mostly win. If we're really lucky, the editors can stay busy doing battle with the trolls while the non-trolls bring an enlightened era of story promotion. (It's kinda like something out of Norse mythology -- don't Odin, Thor, and that lot seem a lot more heroic when they're all off fighting the forces of chaos instead of hanging about Midgard brawling in the local pub, seducing your wife, and generally carrying on?)

Doing moderation on the front page would work pretty much like the comment moderation system: each article would have a score, starting at 1, selected users would receive modpoints which may be spent to increment/decrement that score, and users could hide/collapse articles below a threshold score. Could be a simple extension of the comment mod system requiring, say, 5 modpoints to do a single moderation action at a story level, instead of 1 to moderate a comment, or could be a whole new class of modpoints issued to a separate pool of moderators, potentially with different eligibility requirements. In either case, the overlords can post whatever they like (whether or not it's upvoted in the firehose), and we can shovel crap like this right to -1. Sure, they can override us, but as long as that requires effort on their part, it likely won't be abused any more (or less) than their override powers on the comment system.

Re:Another Day, Another Slashvertisement (1)

Roblimo (357) | about 8 months ago | (#45981275)

You're describing kuro5hin.org. It was a noble experiment that got ruined by trolls.

Re:Another Day, Another Slashvertisement (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#45984593)

I don't want to do the editing myself, I want the editors to do it for me. Filter out the bullshit so I don't have to waste my valuable time doing it.

Re:Another Day, Another Slashvertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45979979)

So, my submission about the second coming of Alan Turing was rejected, but this slashvertisement gets posted?

Re:Another Day, Another Slashvertisement (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#45980267)

I checked the "do not show ads" box, so why the hell do they keep showing up in my feed?

Did it tell you, "I can't let you do that, Dave." ?

Re:Another Day, Another Slashvertisement (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#45980401)

I checked the "do not show ads" box, so why the hell do they keep showing up in my feed?

Did it tell you, "I can't let you do that, Dave." ?

Probably, in one of those auto-playing formats that audibly blasts you out of your seat the second you load the site.

Thankfully my "Speakers-Off" countermeasures save me from such tortures.

"Xbox play video" (3, Interesting)

mpoulton (689851) | about 8 months ago | (#45979799)

Huh. I could have sworn Kinect already did most of this. What's the new part, exactly?

Re:"Xbox play video" (2)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#45979885)

My Samsung TV has both voice and gesture controls, but neither is quite good enough - good idea, poor execution.

My Xbone has both voice and gesture controls, but neither is quite good enough - good idea, poor execution.

If these guys got it right, then I can see the value. I'd love voice control for my TV and attached devices that actually worked worth a damn, and didn't false-positive on the audio coming out of the TV! (C'mon guys, how hard could that be to filter?) But I'm guessing these are hard problems, and that both Samsung and MS threw adequate money at them, so I'm highly skeptical here.

Re:"Xbox play video" (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#45980521)

I don't have a great need to talk to my television, but I find the basic voice controls on my XBox One fairly useful.

Xbox Turn On
Xbox Watch TV

By the time I settle down, it's all good.

I recognize it's not much faster than hitting the "watch TV" button on my Harmony, but it does impress the natives.

Shouting Xbox Mute from across the room is fairly convenient, and the voice commands to snap in things from menus you couldn't get to without navigating for are useful. Saying "Snap NFL" is way easier than turning on my controller, going to the dashboard, finding the app, starting it, going back to TV, etc.

It's...not bad.

Re:"Xbox play video" (1)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#45980585)

Oh, I agree - there's a very minimal set there that's currently done well. But it's not enough where I don't also need my remote handy at some point, and really I find a button on a remote easier than talking to the TV, once the remote is already handy.

Some combination of vice and gesture where I never needed the remote at all would really be great, but we're far from that.

Re:"Xbox play video" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45979907)

I don't know either but it looks like a royal pain in the ass to use. The whole fucking point of remote controls was so you don't have to move around to watch tv... What a goddamned step backwards.

Re:"Xbox play video" (2)

slick7 (1703596) | about 8 months ago | (#45980747)

Huh. I could have sworn Kinect already did most of this. What's the new part, exactly?

The ability to lip-read.

Previous HAL story on /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45979805)

So what happened to Star Bridge's HAL [slashdot.org] ?

The last thing I ever heard about it was that it was not a hype, and then it went all silent...

Why the ©? (3, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | about 8 months ago | (#45979867)

What is with all the HAL©, HAL(Circle-C) nonsense in the submission? Is that supposed to be some kind of joke? Looking at the website, the company doesn't style the product name that way. Is it supposed to be some sort of winking reference to copyright (hurrr, hurrr)? Because that doesn't make any sense...

Re:Why the ©? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45979969)

Yeah, I came here to post the same thing. You cannot copyright a name!

Re:Why the ©? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45979995)

My thought exactly. What's with the fucking copyright symbol?

Re:Why the ©? (2)

Roblimo (357) | about 8 months ago | (#45980039)

To differentiate the movie Hal from HAL©, the product that didn't impress us much. And yes, they use HAL© repeatedly on their website.

Re:Why the ©? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45980367)

The implication is they have a copyright on the name "HAL" which is bogus.

Re:Why the ©? (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#45980021)

Is that supposed to be some kind of joke?

Yes, Slashdot's editing is a joke.

Re:Why the ©? (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 8 months ago | (#45980111)

Looking at the website, the company doesn't style the product name that way.

It sure as hell does, on the about page [www.hal.tv] .

Re:Why the ©? (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 8 months ago | (#45980607)

Is it supposed to be some sort of winking reference to copyright (hurrr, hurrr)? Because that doesn't make any sense...

No. It means that the marketroid who wrote that canned blurb is a blooming idiot who doesn't know the difference between copyright and trademark.

Re:Why the ©? (2)

ExecutorElassus (1202245) | about 8 months ago | (#45983739)

I think companies who insist on putting copyright/trademark/registration symbols into their marketing should be required, in every verbal exchange with media, at every speaking engagement, and in ever recorded advertisement, to compel their representatives to speak the terms out loud.

So, for example, should one of their sockpuppets be reading their press material at a conference, it would sound like this: "In addition to the revolutionary remote replacement, HAL *COPYRIGHTED!!* is also introducing wearable technologies such as their HAL *COPYRIGHTED!!* Watch HAL *COPYRIGHTED!!* Ring, and HAL *COPYRIGHTED!! Glasses, etc etc" like a bad case of Tourette's Syndrome.

Stop (1, Troll)

AlphaBro (2809233) | about 8 months ago | (#45979913)

Pretty much everything voice and/or gesture controlled is annoying. Can we please stop trying to turn reality into a shitty 90's sci-fi movie?

Proprietary = good? Since when? (2)

twocows (1216842) | about 8 months ago | (#45979981)

They won't say beyond, "It's proprietary." Ah! Then it must be good, right?

I think this may be the single biggest disconnect in logic© I have ever seen.

Re:Proprietary = good? Since when? (2)

Roblimo (357) | about 8 months ago | (#45980053)

Please set sense of humor to "on." We spotted that disconnect, too.

Re:Proprietary = good? Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45980393)

You aren't really all that funny, let alone clever or insightful.

Re:Proprietary = good? Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45980949)

And yet he's clearly beat you on all three counts.

Re:Proprietary = good? Since when? (1)

twocows (1216842) | about 8 months ago | (#45985757)

It was hard to spot it as a joke when the rest of the article read like an advertisement©. Unless the whole post was satire, I guess, in which case it went right over my head.

Re:Proprietary = good? Since when? (1)

twocows (1216842) | about 8 months ago | (#45985823)

Oh, I get it now. Took me a few reads to get that it was criticizing the product in question.

The real question (4, Funny)

stox (131684) | about 8 months ago | (#45979985)

Will it open my pod bay doors?

Re:The real question (2)

skids (119237) | about 8 months ago | (#45980031)

Just don't attach a IR receiver to them and you should be fine.

Comment© (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45979993)

I was very Interested© to read about the Product© in the Article©. Thanks© for Sharing© this invention with US©.

Remain perfectly still (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45980043)

Or you will keep changing the channel.

No thanks (3, Informative)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 8 months ago | (#45980087)

I'll just continue using my regular infrared remote which works 100% of the time.

Re:No thanks (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#45980527)

I'll just continue using my regular infrared remote which works 100% of the time.

Well sure, it works, but when you change channels with that, you don't get to make a complete ass of yourself by repeatedly screaming the same command at your TV while doing an idiotic little dance!

That's sooooo 20th Century...

Fuck no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45980241)

I'm not going to bless my machine with hand gestures when a few clicks will do.

Hands *and* voice,.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45980349)

so you can tell it not to keep changing channels while you're watching teh pr0n

TV (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 8 months ago | (#45980577)

TV! Get the fuck out of my life already!

Why, oh Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45980741)

Currently, if I use my existing remotes, I can change the channel by only moving one of my fingers less than an inch. This system, it would seem requires me to get up and wave my arms through the air or yell at the TV. This is an improvement how, exactly?

ooooh Stealth Mode© (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about 8 months ago | (#45981091)

It's a super special secret. Optical tracking! how does it work? Who knows? Why does it change the channel every time I take a bite? Why does it already work as well as five year old technology? HOW DID THEY DOOO THAT?

Get this trash off the front page.

HALTE (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 8 months ago | (#45983717)

When one letter of your acronym is itself an acronym, well son, you done fucked up good.

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