Sky is taking on Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri this autumn, by beefing up its own voice control system.
Sky Q customers will be able to use new voice control features this month through their Sky Q touch remote. It builds on the existing voice search function launched earlier this year. That has already proved incredibly popular, with Sky Q customers making over 9 million voice searches to date.
Viewers will soon be able to speak into their remote and use a range of commands to quickly get to what they want to watch. These include changing channels by saying “change channel to Sky Atlantic”, playing any show from their Recordings by saying, for example, “play Tin Star”, or asking to “skip back 30 seconds” or “watch from the start”. Voice control makes it easier for customers to find their favourite sports, movies and shows, with phrases like: “go to Sky Store”, “go to Sky Sports”, or other sections of the Sky Q menu all recognised.
Customers can also change their accessibility settings using only their voice by saying “turn on audio description”.
Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky’s Chief Marketing Officer, comments: “Our customers already love Voice Search on Sky Q and we think they are going to love Voice Control even more. You will be able to find your recordings, rewind an amazing goal to watch again or change channel all through a simple voice command. It’s a quicker, easier and more fun way to get to the shows, sports and films you want to watch.”
The voice control will roll out across Sky Q boxes over the coming weeks. Also launching as part of the latest software update is a bespoke Favourites menu in the TV Guide, where customers can prioritise their most-loved channels. Initially, Sky Q will suggest a range of favourite channels based on what the household has been watching, but customers can edit the list easily, adding up to 99 channels, which can be organised into whatever order suits them best.
Sky Q customers with a 2TB box will also get a dedicated Ultra HD section within My Q, meaning they can find the widest range of UHD content easier and faster than before. Current Ultra HD content includes new Sky Original Productions such as Tin Star and Riviera, blockbuster movies such as The Revenant and X-Men: Apocalypse and 124 Premier League games this season.