BBC: Kinect sounding death knell for the remote

iPlayer on Kinect sounds death knell for the remote
"Xbox. Play Eastenders and make it snappy"

It's time to forget about the traditional remote control, reckons the BBC, as it begins its first forays into gesture and voice control with its iPlayer for Xbox Live app.

In our hands on review, it was the Kinect integration that was tickling our fancy, allowing us to literally shout at the TV or control it with a wave like a magical wizard.

That could be the future of things, according to Daniel Danker, the BBC's general manager of programmes and on-demand, who said that the BBC will be eyeing our use of the Kinect functionality quite carefully.


Speaking to TechRadar, he said, "For me, [gesture and voice control] is the beginning of an experiment. It's the beginning of a learning process, which is one of the reasons we also made sure that all interfaces worked really excellently – voice, gesture, but also the controller. And we'll see where that goes.

"Will our children be using a remote control that, frankly, has gotten a bit out of control with the number of buttons and complexity? Will they be using that to control something like a TV? No. There's no way. We just have to move beyond that.

"I'm pleased to see Microsoft make exceptional products and the kinds of products that support those new innovations and interface. It [Kinect] was the number one consumer product so obviously the audience seems to think there's something to it as well.

"But this is the first attempt and we'd like to see where it goes."


While the gesture control may grab your attention at first, the BBC expects you'll grow to favour the voice commands as you slob out on the sofa catching up on Eastenders.

"I think in particular we're going to see that voice control has an edge here, perhaps over gestures," added Danker.

"The gestures work excellently in game play. My own personal opinion, I find myself sitting back and using the voice control particularly during playback, when you can just say "Xbox, pause" and then move on and do something else.

"It's so simple and it's much easier than shuffling around looking for the remote control. But that's my own personal guess, so we'll have to see where it goes. Now we'll enter this phase of leaning back and seeing what the audience says about it."

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.