The BBC and Microsoft have built an experimental version of BBC iPlayer that makes it possible to sign into BBC services using their unique voiceprint.
The artificial intelligence (AI) version is a bit of a jump from the current version that has recently begun asking viewers to sign in to confirm they hold a TV Licence.
“Artificial intelligence and voice interaction are fast-developing technologies that could have interesting use-cases in TV. For our experiment, we wanted to explore how your TV – just by hearing the unique sound of your voice – could give people a more intuitive and more personal service in the future,” explains Cyrus Saihan, Head of Digital Partnerships.
Saihan points to the growing popularity of voice controlled devices including Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana, which suggest voice control may become a popular means of controlling devices.
The BBC-Microsoft device recognises the individual characteristics of the voice (tone, modulation, pitch etc), then processes the information before matching it to a sample of stored in the cloud, artificial intelligence software checks that you are who you say you are and grants access to the familiar iPlayer portal.
In the future its possible the TV might link to a tablet device, recognising the viewer and asking if they wanted to pick up on an earlier show they had been watching.