By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Innotech Systems has launched its new “voice-interactive” Surfboard remote control. The company says the ergonomic design of the remote, which features a series of large buttons, is intended to be both stylish and functional by eliminating the rarely-used buttons often found on other remotes. The limited number of buttons is possible due to the implementation of Innotech's SmartSource technology which helps the remote to know automatically whether to send commands to the TV or cable/satellite box.
A voice-recognition system allows users to control the TV by the sound of their voice. The company says the remote does not require voice training, but that the option is available if users care to train it to associate special voice commands with channel numbers, “HBO” or “ESPN” for instance.
A voice-response system is also in place, designed to tell users what buttons they've pushed, a feature the company implies could come in handy when operating the remote in a dark room. Other features include a “help” button, which causes voice-prompts to guide the user through all aspects of installation, and the “surf” button which can be used to go back to the previously-viewed channel or to browse through “favorite” channels.
The Surfboard comes equipped with a comprehensive code library loaded with remote control codes for a number of TVs, cable boxes and other related products. If the remote doesn't have the exact code for the user's products, the company says the “help” option would lead the user in finding the correct code.
A release about the product launch said the Surfboard is available now, but a spokesperson for the company told TWICE that Hammacher Schlemmer will begin to carry the product in October for $49.95. The spokesperson also said the company is working to bring the product to other retailers in the future, including an online shopping network.
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