The BBC wants you to use your voice to sign into digital services

The BBC has partnered with Microsoft to develop a new concept to sign into digital services, and ultimately control your TV viewing. Just as how we use our unique fingerprints to sign into our phones and authenticate payments, our voice is unique to use as well. The BBC wants to tap into this, and develop a technology powerful enough to interpret pitch, tone and modulation to recognise it’s you.

A sample of your voice would be stored in the cloud to compare against each time you sign in. The idea is once you tell the computer it’s you, you will be asked to say a password that you set to complete the verification. The BBC says the technology is still very much in a concept stage for now, but the potential for it is huge.

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Not only will you be able to sign in to the iPlayer with your voice, you will be able to tell the iPlayer what you want to watch. It will work in a similar way to Alexa and Google Assistant, in that it can understand context.

If you ask for a certain programme to be put on, and then change your mind, you can use phrases like “actually, I’d rather watch something funny”, and iPlayer will immediately serve up the relevant content. The BBC says the future potential for the technology is for your TV to interact with you on a more personal level. If you’re watching a TV show on a tablet on the way home from work, your TV could ask you if you wanted to carry on where you left off.

You could reply with “no thanks, is there anything else I might like?”. iPlayer would then use its algorithms to serve up some recommended content for you based on your previous viewing habits. The Beeb also says your TV could potentially listen and work out who is the room, and deliver recommended content based on whoever it is.

If it knows you like a certain show it will offer to show the next episode, but if it hears kids are in the room, it will change its recommendations to children’s content instead.

There are currently no concrete plans to roll this technology out, but the BBC will continue to develop it to hopefully one day make it a reality.

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