Forget Siri: Microsoft bringing Halo’s Cortana to its phones

Helping cotrana-windows-microsoftMaster Chief out of perilous predicaments is one thing, but can Cortana help you get to your meeting on time?

Microsoft is working on a digital personal assistant for its Windows Phones to compete with Apple’s Siri and Android’s Google Now. And it has chosen the beloved Halo artificial intelligence character as its namesake.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

CES: Are TV viewers salivating for voice controls?

Voice variety-logocommand may seem like a natural evolution for television, given the popularity of Apple’s Siri on the iPhone. But is it ready for primetime?

Samsung’s ES8000 LED set, the company’s flagship “smart TV” model introduced at last year’s CES, can be turned on simply by talking to it. LG’s Magic Wand remote control uses gesture control. Even accessories like Google TV and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 videogame console let people search for programming by shouting at the devices.

Read more at Daily Variety

Apple updates laptops, iOS

There was no new iPhone, no new iPad and certainly no news about the long-rumored TV set, but Apple still had plenty to say at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference Monday.

CEO Tim Cook announced a refresh of the company’s laptop series, a forthcoming series of advances to the iOS operating system and the long-awaited arrival of Siri on the iPad.

Read more at Daily Variety

Voice Control: Next Big Thing in TV?

While the Consumer Electronics Show includes just about every type of gadget imaginable, the star of the show is almost always television.

Every year, manufacturers roll out their latest and greatest, touting a new technological advance they hope will resonate with consumers. But for the past few years, the reaction among shoppers has been more “ho hum” than “I gotta have it.”

Read more at CNBC

Apple unveils iPhone 4S

It was hardly a secret that Apple would be rolling out its next generation iPhone at a press event Tuesday, but the Cupertino-based company still managed to sneak in a few surprises.

The iPhone 4S, which will be available for pre-order on Oct. 7 and will launch Oct. 14, will look almost exactly like the current 4G model, but a number of under the hood enhancements could be noteworthy for the entertainment industry – as could the expansion of the iPhone’s retail footprint with the addition of Sprint to the carriers offering the phone.

Read more at Daily Variety