Xbox One’s Kinect voice integration has ruined other electronics for me
Here’s a daily routine of mine when I get home: Grab the remote that’s on the cabinet near my door, say “Xbox on, go to Netflix, Xbox select, select 1.”
It’s important to note that I say these voice commands as I’m in the bathroom washing up and changing into something much more comfortable. Thankfully, I can shout in a stern and projected voice, so if the Kinect even thinks about not listening to me, I can stay within its desires. Because technology totally works like that, right? Even if the Kinect and Xbox One are self-aware, they wouldn’t panic and launch nuclear warheads causing Judgment Day … right?
Anyway, before I dive into a paranoid frenzy about the future of robots and artificial intelligence replicating a 1994 action movie, I’d like to discuss how much this technology is spoiling me. I will begin by revealing an incredibly relevant piece of information:
My dog is old and has bad legs.
I promise you, this is relevant. See, my Xbox One resides on the second floor in my bedroom, along with the rest of my belongings. As you’d probably expect, there is no way for me to let Spotty, my incredibly unoriginally named dog, in from upstairs. Therefore, I let him out through the basement door, meaning I have to stay on the ground level and keep an eye on him while I eat my lunch and watch whatever is on Comedy Central, secretly hoping its Community or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
I also spend a majority of this time nowhere near the living room, instead keeping an eye on Spotty to make sure he doesn’t attempt to walk up a flight of porch steps he probably shouldn’t. Do you really know what I wish I could do in this situation? Yell at my TV to do something else. Sadly, I can’t do that. If only I was smart enough to hook the Xbox One up to my living room TV. Then again, I wouldn’t want to keep the house up until 3 in the morning when I was playing the Titanfall beta.
The same thing happens when I hear my phone chime from across the room, too. I want to shout "Phone, open text," but I can't. Sure, there's Siri for things like that, but I have a Galaxy S4, so I don't know about the 'wonders' of Siri firsthand.
The point is that as much flak as the Kinect gets, the fact that I can use it to easily navigate through the system’s menus and applications has been a real treat. Is it perfect? No; I always have to talk down to it like it’s a puppy that just peed in the house. Once I’ve learned that “trick,” however, it’s worked pretty flawlessly. I’m no longer using the tacky commands in-game, aside from “Xbox record that,” but instead just using the vocal recognition to browse my console without even seeing the screen.
That has spoiled me all too much. I look forward to further implementations that enhance and improve the experience. Maybe some worthwhile game integration, too.