Swisscom Box integrates voice assistant for TV and smart home controlThursday, November 14th, 2019
Swisscom TV can now also control home lighting
The new Swisscom Box combines traditional television with streaming in a new interface and can be controlled using an integrated Voice Assistant, which also operates smart home devices. With the new Internet-Box 3 and new, ultra-fast WLAN standard WiFi 6, your home devices can be easily networked, whatever the manufacturer.
In recent times, the world of home entertainment has become limitless: TV on your smartphone, streaming on TV, your laptop as a stereo system – and home comfort controlled by various other devices. “Exciting developments, but so far, compatibility has been something of an issue – especially for customers who don’t want to commit to one particular manufacturer,” Swisscom CEO Urs Schaeppi said today in Zurich. “We have therefore decided to take a big leap into the future by combining all the developments of the last few years in a single box: the new Swisscom Box.” As well as integrating the completely revamped Swisscom TV, the box also lays the foundation for intuitive and convenient control of Swisscom’s products for the home.
The Swisscom Box is easily operated with an advanced remote control or the new Voice Assistant, which springs into action at the wake-up command “Hey Swisscom!”. For starters, you can use the Voice Assistant to control the most popular Swisscom TV functions – from switching channels, launching an app or searching for content to activating the radio function or launching your own Spotify playlist. However, it can also be used to ask for a local weather forecast or control certain smart home devices that you can integrate via the Swisscom Home app. You can switch a networked light source on or off, for example, or activate a pre-programmed scenario all from the sofa.
The Voice Assistant only becomes active after registering the wake-up command “Hey Swisscom”. If no voice command is received within 7 seconds, the assistant returns to standby and does not perform any activities. Of course, it’s also possible to switch off the microphone entirely at any time using the dedicated switch. The Voice Assistant is automatically deactivated on delivery and has to be switched on by the customer first. This ensures that the customer maintains full control at all times. “Voice is the remote control of the future,” explains Dirk Wierzbitzki, Head of Residential Customers and Member of the Management Board. “With the Swisscom Box, we are laying a strong foundation on which we can build in the future, successively rolling out additional services and added convenience – for Swisscom solutions, but also for devices from different manufacturers, especially in the smart home sector.” As the next milestone, Swisscom plans to integrate a telephony function and significantly expand its offering in 2020.
A strong trio for the home
The new Swisscom Box can be combined with the equally new Swisscom Internet-Box 3. Swisscom customers can now enjoy speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s in their home: the network is expanding accordingly. A select group of test customers are currently benefiting from the higher speeds and, from March, the increased bandwidth will be available successively to all customers with FTTH and the corresponding subscription. The Internet-Box 3 is also one of the first routers in the world to support ultra-fast Wi-Fi at up to 4.8 Gbit/s courtesy of the WiFi 6 standard, which was adopted only 2 months ago and is currently supported by the iPhone 11 and Galaxy S10, among others. From March 2020, a new, similarly WiFi 6-compatible WLAN-Box will be available to bring the best WLAN to every part of the home.
Together, these new devices represent a particularly strong trio: “A number of years ago, we revolutionised television by rendering recordings and film archives unnecessary,” explains Dirk Wierzbitzki, Head of Residential Customers and Member of the Swisscom Group Executive Board.” Now, we are going one step further and starting a journey that aims to bring not only all content offerings, but also all smart home features on a single platform.