TiVo

TiVo will soon learn your voice — and what you like to watch

A new partnership with Pindrop will let TiVo learn who is talking — and suggest shows that you, and you alone, may want to watch

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TiVo is bringing more than voice control to its system — it's going to be able to learn who is asking to change channels, and start tailoring suggestions specific to that viewer.

The new ability is through a partnership with a company called Pindrop, and will be a seamless integration with TiVo. That means people won't need to download any additional apps, but they will need to opt-in to allow the system to learn and recognize their voice.

Voice recognition is slowly making its way into home use, helping Google Assistant for example know the difference between people in a household — and serve up one person's schedule or contacts, and not the other's. TiVo once had Alexa working through its system, allowing people to tap into voice control to change channels, for example. But the new technology won't just recognize that someone is speaking — but who is speaking instead.

Someone holding a remote in front of a TV The new feature will launch in new TiVo devices over the next several monthsGetty Images/iStock

Someone holding a remote in front of a TV

Learning to differentiate someone based on their voice is also a form of biometric technology, the ability to identify one person over another. Many smartphones tap into this kind of technology daily, from those that open using a fingerprint to others that scan a face, like the iPhone.

Pindrop's technology is already in use in banks around the world, the company said in a release, and its system looks at more than 250 details to determine and then identify a specific person. These data point include someone's intonation, the frequency of speed of how they talk, and their tone as well.

The new feature isn't launching into existing TiVo products just yet, and instead will be woven into new devices that the company says will launch in the coming months.

"We believe that with our state-of-the-art voice authentication technology combined with TiVo's expertise in the OTT video space, we'll be able to unlock new experiences for consumers across the globe… and we're just getting started," said Vijay Balasubramaniyan, Pindrop's CEO in a statement.

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