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September 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

While Apple reportedly struggles to find a way to introduce a next-generation television set that will offer simplicity of use together with an unlimited array of content in the cloud, its competitors are moving ahead with incremental improvements — ironically incorporating some of Apple’s own products. AT&T U-verse announced on Wednesday that it will become “the first major TV provider to allow customers to use voice remote control capabilities.” The system will require the use of an app installed in an Apple iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. Once installed and activated, all a user will have to do in order to watch a particular program is speak its name. The app will also respond to such voice commands as Channel Up, Channel Down, Fast Forward, Rewind, Replay, Pause, Play, Record and Go to channel (name or number). Users will also be able to control their TVs via finger gestures on their Apple devices. Although aimed initially to accommodate older viewers and those with disabilities, the “Easy Remote” app, said AT&T exec Maria Dillard, is an example “of how AT&T is using universal design to develop innovative technology to improve the TV experience for all customers with and without disabilities.”COMPETITORS STEAL APPLE’S TV THUNDER