Be careful what you say in front of your Samsung TV. It’s listening to you.
According to CNN Money many Samsung “SmartTVs” come equipped with voice recognition, which allows you to bark commands at your TV. Since the television is always listening for your voice, Samsung has warned its SmartTV customers that every word is being captured and sent over the Internet.
Okay, that’s pretty creepy.
Samsung says it needs to send your voice commands to a third-party, because that company converts your speech to text. But Samsung also collects your voice commands to perform research and determine whether it needs to make improvements to the feature.
Samsung noted that a microphone appears on the screen when the voice recognition feature is turned on, notifying customers that their voice is being captured. You can opt-out of the SmartTV voice recognition feature.
But even if you opt out, your voice commands will still be captured. The SmartTV has a set of pre-programmed commands that it recognizes even if you opt out of voice recognition. Samsung will collect the text of those pre-programmed voice commands (though not your voice itself) and analyze how much you’re using certain commands.
“Samsung does not retain voice data or sell it to third parties,” the company said in a statement. “If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature … the voice data is sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV.”
Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the identity of the third party or whether that company records the voice data.
But the prediction of the future meant more than conversations.
At Samsung’s live press conference at CES International 2012, Samsung introduced a new Smart TV with the ability to “listen, see, and do” what it wants, without ever touching the remote control.
The idea is that the TV will get smarter the longer you own it, presumably through updates, eliminating the need for you to buy a new TV to keep up pace.
Today, things look very different. For one, the new Smart LED TV’s have dual core processors, and something you’ve grown accustomed to on just about any other electronics device: multitasking.
There’s also a brand new smart hub, with ability to search and explore, which has been upgraded to HD. The new Samsung smart TVs also feature the same thin bezel we were seeing last year, with a U-shaped stand.
On the top of the TV, Samsung is offering an integrated camera. (Didn’t expect that one). Courtesy of the camera, you’ll have the ability to video conference and use gesture-based controls.
There are also a host of new signature services available, including something called Family Store which allows family members to communicate with each other, workout services that can track your weight with a wireless scale (ties in to a phone app), an app that lets you track what kids are watching, and smart interaction.
Of all the signature services, smart interaction will be the best. It allows you to interact with the TV like you do with other humans, using your voice, gestures and face. For example, that integrated camera will offer up facial recognition, logging individual members of the family into their specialized apps automatically.