Arris may enable voice controls for Moxi guide

ATLANTA - Cable technology vendor Arris (Nasdaq: ARRS) may enable voice controls for its Moxi interactive program guide, which would allow cable subscribers to speak commands to their mobile phones, tablets and other devices to change channels and search for content on a TV.

Charles Cheevers, Arris CTO for its EMEA regions, said Moxi first experimented with voice controls several years ago, when the company was still run by Digeo and its founder Paul Allen, who also co-founded Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT). But Moxi never deployed a guide that could be operated with voice controls. Arris bought Moxi parent company Digeo on 2009.

With a resurgence in consumer interest in devices that can be operated by voice controls--Cheevers cited the Siri personal assistant on Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone 4GS as an example--Arris may add voice control features to the program guides that it supplies to cable operators.

"The Moxi API [application program interface] is voice controllable. We're looking at enabling that again," Cheevers told FierceCable during an interview at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo.

Cable technology vendors have long sought ways to use voice controls to navigate cable programming. Interactive TV pioneer Gary Lauder formed a company called AgileTV that has pitched cable operators remote controls that could respond to voice controls. Lauder also distributes voice enabled applications through software company Promptu.

Microsoft is also beginning to allow Xbox owners that buy its Kinect motion control cameras to use voice commands to navigate games and video content. But no cable operator has yet deployed a guide that operates on voice commands.

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