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Apple unveils iPhone 8 and £1,000 iPhone X with all-screen display and wireless charging

  • Apple has unveiled its latest product range, including the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and Apple Watch 3
  • Apple launches £999 iPhone X with edge-to-edge screen, Face ID and wireless charging 
  • Why £1,000 isn’t too much to pay for an iPhone X 
  • New iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus announced – best features, price and release date
  • New Apple Watch 3 works independently from the iPhone – here are the best features and everything you need to know 
  • Animojis, facial recognition software and no home button: How the new iPhone X features work  
  • ‘RIP home button!’ How the internet reacted to the iPhone X launch 
  • Wireless charging: How the new Apple technology works 
  • Apple suffers embarrassing demo Face ID fail at iPhone X launch 
  • iPhone X: Hands on with ‘the future of the smartphone’ 

Apple has unveiled the £1,000 iPhone X, the latest generation of its flagship device. The all-glass device has an edge-to-edge display and no home button. It unlocks using facial recognition software and features wireless charging.

Tim Cook also launched the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, two new phones that have 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens. Like the iPhone X, the devices also have an all-glass design and can be charged wirelessly.

In addition to the phones, Apple announced a third generation of its Watch and a 4K Apple TV.

iPhone X 

The iPhone X celebrates the 10th anniversary of Apple’s smartphone, featuring a radical redesign and new technology.


iPhone X
iPhone X CREDIT: AP 

The phone has a 5.8-inch OLED screen, which fills the entire front of the device. Apple has removed the iconic home button to make way for the display, replacing it with facial recognition software called Face ID.

Face ID is used to unlock the phone, authenticate Apple Pay and cutomise the new animoji.

The phone starts at £999 in the UK for the 64GB version, going up to £1,149 for the 256GB model. Coming in space grey and silver, it will be available to pre-order from October 27 and will ship on November 3.


iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

Apple also announced the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, an upgrade to its current offering. The new devices have an all-glass design and can charge wirelessly.


iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have a glass back and come in space grey, silver and blush gold
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have a glass back and come in space grey, silver and blush gold CREDIT:REUTERS

The 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch devices start at £699 and £799 for the 64GB versions. They come with iOS 11 software, which will be available to download from September 19, and an upgraded camera and processor.

Apple Watch 3

The third generation of Apple’s smartwatch is the first that works independently from the iPhone. A cellular version of the device is available form £399 and can make phone calls and browse the web.

Apple also unveiled a 4K version of its set-top Apple TV box at the event.


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Quarter of Younger Viewers Watch TV Exclusively Online

Another 30 percent say they will do the same within two years

The viewing habits of those under the age of 35 have been a key area of interest for broadcasters as online and streaming platforms become more prevalent, and a recent study by Adobe Digital Insight reveals that the move away from traditional TV looks to continue to grow.

The survey of more than 1,500 U.S. consumers showed that two-thirds of consumers under the age of 35 regularly watch television through online streaming subscriptions. However, the more important number is that more than a quarter of the respondents under 35 said they are watching TV exclusively online, with another 30 percent expected to begin doing so in the next two years.

Traditional TV still has a solid base of support among those over the age of 35, with more than 40 percent saying they don’t plan to use online streaming services as their only method of watching TV. Still, online cable, direct TV or satellite is proving to be the primary method for half of the respondents over 35.

Another result of the move toward online streaming services is the rise in binge watching, again, especially among younger viewers. ADI reports that more than 50 percent of consumers between 13 and 22 say they prefer to binge watch TV series. A third of those over 35 said they prefer the traditional one episode a week.

Despite the move to more online sources, TVs are still the preferred box to view the content. More than 75 percent of all respondents prefer a 35-inch or larger TV screen to watch content. How they watch content through the TV is what is changing, as gaming devices and smart TVs join cable boxes as the most popular devices used to access entertainment at home among 13-34 year olds. Cable box, smart TVs and Blu-ray players are the most popular for 35 and older.

ADI’s study also looked into the way that viewers consume news, sports and where they prefer to watch movies. To see the details on these subjects, click here.


Written by : Michael Balderston

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Verizon CEO Sees Decision on Online TV Service in 6 Months

Verizon Communications Inc. will decide in the next six months how to deliver an online TV service, Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam said.

Although web-based TV is becoming “a crowded field,” the telecommunications giant needs to participate to take advantage of the advertising capabilities of its AOL and Yahoo! acquisitions, McAdam said Wednesday at Bloomberg’s Sooner Than You Think conference.

“An over-the-top platform is absolutely critical for us,” McAdam said. Verizon may offer the service in partnership with someone, he said. Even so, “there’s no big M&A planned for us.”

Verizon offers traditional pay-TV service over its fiber-optic lines in parts of the U.S., with 4.7 million subscribers, but growth has stagnated as competition heats up with streaming-video providers such as Netflix Inc.

In March, people with knowledge of the matter said Verizon was planning to unveil an over-the-internet TV service this summer to compete with Dish Network Corp.’s Sling TV and AT&T Inc.’s DirecTV Now. As of last month, Verizon was struggling to sign up TV networks to get the service started, people said.

AT&T gives mobile-phone subscribers a discount on DirecTV Now, an online collection of cable channels such as ESPN and HGTV. Google and Hulu LLC are among other companies selling web-based television.

Unhappy Investors

Verizon rose 1 percent to close at $47.25 in New York. The shares have fallen 11 percent this year, while the S&P 500 Index has gained 12 percent.

For more on Verizon’s possible M&A, read this Gadfly piece

Long term, Verizon has its work cut out for it. Almost all Americans already have a wireless subscription or two, leaving little room for growth and putting pressure on the company to come up with a growth strategy for the future. Analysts project sales will fall this year.

The company is focusing on a media venture, Oath, that includes the assets acquired in the purchase of AOL Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. Verizon wants to challenge Google and Facebook Verizon CEO: Online TV Decision in Next 6 Monthsin mobile advertising by building a big audience with streaming-video offerings like go90.

Written by : Scott Moritz and Olga Kharif

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UK government: 15% of web users watch content illegally

Approximately 6.7 million UK internet users, some 15%, consumed at least one item of online content illegally during the three months prior to March 2017, according to government stats.

The UK Intellectual Property Office’s ‘IP Crime and Enforcement Report 2016/17’claimed that “criminality threatens to implicate millions of ordinary consumers” as the use of set-top boxes to stream unlicensed TV shows rises.

The report cites Industry Trust for IP figures that suggest that 19% of adults now watch copyright free material through IPTV set-top boxes, such as Kodi devices.

It also said policing ‘technological misuses’ and ‘social media distribution’ requires investment, cooperation and raised awareness of the consequences of IP crime amongst consumers and business people.

“Illicit streaming devices, which were highlighted as an emerging threat in last year’s IP Crime Report, have become mainstream products in some parts of the UK, and the subsequent threat to those working to create, produce, distribute and sell films and TV programmes is enormous,” according to the Alliance for Intellectual Property section of the report.

Chief Constable Sussex Police, Giles York, commented that the emerging threat of illicit streaming devices is “undermining the creative industries involved in bringing films and TV shows to market.”

FACT, a UK intellectual property organisation that works on behalf of the sports, TV and film industry, said that 70% of its active ongoing cases relate to ‘illicit streaming devices’, and that 47% of its public complaints in 2016/17 related to these devices – up from 18% in 2015/16.

Government figures claim that the UK economy loses £9 billion per year through IP crime, while the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that the value of Europe’s illegal market is £76 billion.

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Disney confirms Stars Wars & Marvel for SVOD app

The Walt Disney Company’s upcoming international SVOD service will offer Star Warsand Marvel Universe content, Bob Iger has revealed.

One of the key questions over the upcoming app, which is due for launch in 2019, was whether it would offer series andfeature films from its premium Lucasfilm and Marvel Entertainment subsidiaries.

Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2017 Media Communications conference, Disney chairman and CEO Iger told delegates these would comprise part of the offer.

“We left open what we are going to do with Marvel and Star Wars,” he said. “We’ve now decided that we will put the Marvel and Star Wars movies on this app as well.”

This means the Disney SVOD app will offer Star Wars and Marvel Universe movies and series, plus those from its own studio and Toy Story producerPixar Animation.

“In addition to that, we have been spending a fair amount of time developing original content on the movies side for the app,” said Iger. “The studio is already developing and will produce four to five original films exclusively for the app, primarily live action.”

There will also up to five Disney-branded original TV series, and between three and four branded telemovies offered exclusively, to go with around 500 library movies and about 7,000 episodes of in-house shows and thousands of shorts.

“We’ll produce more original short-form content for this app, but we use a lot of the short-form content that we’ve already created,” said Iger.

Disney shocked the entertainment world this summer by announcing it was ending its long-term output agreement withSVOD service Netflix in order to launch a rival subscription streaming app. It already has a smaller offer, Disney Life, available in the UK.

He added that further details on pricing and investment levels would follow “in the months ahead”, adding: “We’re going to launch big, and we’re going to launch hot. We’re very confident that as you look at the TV space or the media space, there is not only room and demand for Disney, but we’ll have a content to back that up.”

There is a potential the service will launch in certain international territories before the US if movie windows fall ahead of schedules.

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IBC Show Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Media technology exhibition and conference maintains its focus on the cutting edge

Broadcast and media professionals from around the world will descend on the RAI Convention Center, Sept. 15–19 for the annual IBC Show, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Nearly 56,000 attendees took in the technology exhibition and dozens of conferences in 2016, but along with the show, IBC has also expanded its services with the launch of IBC365, an online editorial platform and weekly e-bulletin that covers the latest developments in television technology, earlier this year.

TV Technology recently spoke with Michael Crimp, president of IBC to discuss how changes in the industry are impacting the annual gathering.

TV Technology: What do you think are the biggest changes that have occurred in the industry since IBC 2016?
Michael Crimp: Broadcasters have traditionally been the trusted brand for news: Is the era of social media and universal internet access changing that? It is a critical topic to debate at IBC, because the industry’s response to it is central to its future, both commercially and technically.

More broadly, the industry continues to widen beyond traditional media, entertainment and technology into adjacent markets; IP interoperability is far more widely accepted than it was this time last year; and nascent technologies like VR and AR are increasingly being seen as far more than mere gaming gadgets. IBC will be exploring all these areas and more.

Michael Crimp

TVT: Are there any new areas in the media industry that IBC is focusing on for the 2017 show? And if so, why?
Crimp: There are many new markets melding with the traditional broadcast sector, including cloud, AR/VR, mobile, IoT, social networks, artificial intelligence and telecoms, and there is much we can all learn about different ways to produce, manage, monetize and aggregate content. We are pleased to welcome a number of high-profile speakers from these sectors, as well as from broadcast networks, to discuss the changing media landscape.

TVT: How successful have your efforts been at increasing IBC’s presence beyond the annual show?
Crimp: Last year we carried out extensive independent research to pinpoint areas where IBC could offer greater value to IBC exhibitors and visitors. A key feature of the research results was a desire for more IBC-generated industry intelligence outside of show time. This led to the launch of IBC365, an online portal with a treasure trove of content including hundreds of IBC videos, technology papers, and analysis of industry trends, as well as commissioned content specifically aimed at adjacent markets in order to engage them more fully with IBC.

TVT: Who are some of your keynoters this year and what will they be focusing on?
Crimp: The opening keynote will explore how the rise of fan and friend power in the media ecosystem is driving new approaches to broadcasting, as well as paving the way for new partnerships and funding models. Speakers include Dan Danker, product director at Facebook and Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, president & CEO at Modern Times Group.

Brian Sullivan, president & COO, Digital Consumer Group, Fox Networks Group at 21st Century Fox, will take to the stage to deliver insight into the American market and developments of Fox Network’s leading TV Everywhere services. Balan Nair, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Liberty Global will join other key industry leaders for the “CTO Roadmap” keynote. With many CTOs certainly facing the same challenges as most executives in the broadcast and media industry, this panel will explore what they see as the biggest challenges and most importantly, how they intend to address them.

Delivering the Technology Forward Keynote, ‘What’s Happening in VR, AR and Mixed Reality’ is Rikard Steiber, president, Viveport and SVP Virtual Reality, HTC. The session will look at the emerging swathe of consumer devices and services, as well as showcasing successful VR experiences across platforms.

TVT: What new features/pavilions/attractions can we expect this year? Any new features for the mobile app?
Crimp: The C-Tech Forum offers two days of specialist presentations and debates, on the same invitation-only, behind-closed-doors basis as the established Leaders’ Summit. The first day will focus on the critical topic of cyber-security, while the second day will look at the potential for 5G.

The IBC Startup Forum also launches this year. Our industry is based on innovation, on people with bright ideas who can create new techniques and the technologies to support them. Working in association with Media Honeypot, we are aiming to bring together startup and scale-up businesses, investors and media houses, to take the best new ideas from the spark of invention to full fruition.

This year’s IP Showcase will show how far we have come in just a year. IP is no longer ‘the future’—real-time IP for production, playout and contribution is a practical, flexible, efficient reality that is rapidly taking hold in mainstream broadcast operations. The IP Showcase will offer demonstrations, real-world scenarios and education sessions, showing the full potential of IP workflows.

The free mobile app now features a fully interactive map, including 3D views to find exhibitors, save their locations, and plot your route around the RAI. It also has a neat tool to help you request and schedule meetings, with inbuilt social media to enable informal online chat. There is also a searchable conference schedule, and you can even check which of the many catering locations in the RAI have queues, ensuring you always make the best use of your time.

TVT: How has your partnership with other industry associations evolved over the years and affected how you develop the conference section of the show?
Crimp: IBC is organized by the industry for the industry, and at the top of our organisation is the Partnership Board which contains representatives of the six leading professional and trade bodies in the industry: IABM, IEE, IET, RTS, SCTE and SMPTE.

My day job revolves around the invaluable feedback we receive from our partner bodies and from the committees, which draw upon valuable industry knowledge. We take all that input and develop a strategy for the continuing development of IBC as an agile platform for industry education, ready to respond to new trends and technologies as they arise.

TVT: Are there any new changes at the RAI itself? I heard a rumor that “The Beach” is no longer, is this true?
Crimp: A large new hotel is under construction between Hall 12 and the station, scheduled to be open in time for IBC 2019, and the North-South metro line is due to open in July 2018. As for “The Beach,” anyone visiting the RAI earlier this year might have been dismayed to see the popular waterfront bar area looking like a building site…but fear not, The Beach has now reopened with a completely new look, with a restaurant as well as various bar areas and rooms for private events.

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UK TV industry risks losing £1bn a year to Amazon, YouTube and Facebook

Traditional broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV and Sky could follow other industries in losing out to digital ‘middlemen’, says report.

Traditional broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV and Sky could lose a combined £1bn per year if rival services from Amazon, Facebook and YouTube become dominant players in the TV industry over the next decade.

A new report says that UK broadcasters could suffer the same fate as industries including music, news, insurance and property where powerful digital newcomers – including Apple, Google, YouTube, Moneysupermarket and Rightmove – muscled in as middlemen to take a significant share of revenues.

The report, by OC&C Strategy Consultants, argues that broadcasting could be controlled by one or two “super-aggregators” that would act as viewing gateways for consumers looking for a simple way to access a plethora of content.

The modern TV viewer now has an array of viewing options to choose from, with the BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube among the platforms vying for the attention of British households. More than 20% of under-35s use more than seven services to keep up with their favourite shows, and 40% say they are becoming confused by how many options are available, according to an OC&C survey.

“Viewers are facing a complex web of different routes to access TV content, leading to an unsustainable level of confusion and inconvenience,” says Mostyn Goodwin, partner at OC&C. “This environment is giving rise to the need for a super-aggregator service that provides a universal access point to content.”

The report estimates that the UK broadcast industry – which include the TV businesses of the likes of Sky and BT, ITV, Channel 4 as well as the BBC’s licence fee and commercial income – is worth up to to £15bn in revenues annually, including advertising revenues and pay-TV subscriptions.

OC&C based the £1bn loss figure – equivalent to the TV industry’s annual profit from broadcasting activities – on an analysis of the proportion of revenue that middlemen, or aggregators, have taken from traditional players in other sectors.

These vary from 5% to 10% in the insurance industry, which has players including moneysupermarket, to 20% in the taxi sector following the rise of Uber, to 20%-30% in music and news.

“This is not theoretical, in other industries we have seen how powerful these aggregators can become,” said Goodwin.

The report identifies Amazon, Facebook and YouTube, each of whom have enormous global user bases, as being potential middlemen for TV viewing and the biggest threats to traditional TV broadcasters.

In May, Amazon unveiled plans to expand its TV ambitions by adding 40 TV channels to its UK streaming service, including ITV and live sport such as Grand Slam tennis and the Olympics. Earlier this month Facebook launched a new TV-like rival Watch, and Google-owned YouTube has a TV channel service as well as subscription product Red.

In the music sector, the world’s biggest record companies frequently complain about YouTube – by far the biggest destination for music video viewing – arguing that it has too much power and does not pay its fair share of royalties.

Earlier this year, Steve Cooper, Warner Music’s chief executive, renewed the company’s deal with YouTube but complained it was struck under “very difficult circumstances” and wasn’t done under “free market” conditions.

“It is about the balance of power,” says Goodwin. “At first there may not be much of a charge [to appear on an aggregator platform], commercial negotiations are easy as the digital players want to grow their businesses. Over time, as they grow scale, the nature of the deals can change. What choices the broadcasters make now will define what scale of ‘problem’ they will face.”

Written by : Mark Sweney

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TOP NETFLIX ANALYST: How much content is enough?

Netflix was the original streaming giant — and it’s used that incumbency to largely stay ahead of everyone else entering the digital-TV universe.

But as costs of creating content nosedive, at least one analyst is wondering at what point Netflix will curtail its original production.

“The question is how much content do you need to create, and at what point do you have enough?” says Rich Greenfield of BTIG.

Greenfield has been covering the media and technology space for the better part of two decades, beginning at Goldman Sachs. In his seven years at BTIG, Greenfield has loudly warned about the death of traditional media companies while celebrating the rise of so-called disruptors.

“The cable broadcasting ecosystem is being pressured,” Greenfield told Business Insider. “People want to to watch whatever they want, whenever they want, and to binge without 20 minutes of commercials.”

While cable networks are slowly making the transition from a linear, broadcast format, they still lag well behind Netflix in both subscribers and content. Greenfield expects Netflix to hit 54.9 million US subscribers by the end of 2017. By comparison, the four largest cable companies only have 48.61 million, according to Leichtman Research Group.

Competitors have a long way to go if they want to catch up, especially outside of the United States, which has been the main source of Netflix’s new growth in the past year. They do, however, have one thing on their side: Americans still love TV.

“The average American is still watching four to five hours of TV a day,” says Greenfield. “This won’t be winner-take-all, there will be lots of winners.”

Last month, Greenfield raised his price target for Netflix to $225, roughly 33% above where shares were trading Friday afternoon.

“The key asset that Netflix has is size. It’s 100 million subscribers ahead of all of its peers,” said Greenfield. “This size gives it the ability to invest more heavily in content, which leads to more content that consumers want to watch, more watch time, and stickier subscriber. It’s a virtuous circle that’s really fueling Netflix.”

Screen Shot 2017 08 18 at 2.47.00 PM

Written by : Graham Rapier

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New event video streaming technology tested at Edinburgh Fringe

Singapore and UK-based satellite equipment provider Global Invacom Group has carried out the first live tests of a new technology that it says enables live, high-quality, large-scale event video streaming over a WiFi network.

The technology, Bx-WiFi, was developed through a partnership with the BBC Research & Development, and the University of Hertfordshire, under a European Space Agency (ESA) contract, and was successfully live-tested at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on August 12, 13 and 18, according to the group.

According to Global Invacom, Bx-WiFi enables simultaneous streaming of uninterrupted audio or video content from multiple sources – such as satellite feed, ‘live’ video or digital radio – to thousands of smartphone or tablet devices all located in the same hotspot (for example at an event). It uses Forward Error Correction to maintain video quality despite potential Wi-Fi packet loss, and multicast technology that minimises bandwidth usage when a large number of users are simultaneously streaming.

According to the company, the technology enables viewing of broadcast content at events without buffering or loss of signal. Bx WiFi does not rely on the Internet and uses little WiFi bandwidth, it says.

During the trial conducted in association with BBC R&D, participants streamed a comedy compilation from a previous Edinburgh festival as well as the Edinburgh Tattoo 2016.

“BX-WiFi is a breakthrough in streaming technology that is set to redefine video broadcast for large-scale events. Its scalability and flexibility ensure it can be deployed in diverse venues, including coffee shops, stadiums, and even aboard aircraft. We are pleased to work with partners who made this success possible,” said Steven Fisher, systems architect at Global Invacom.

“Bx-WiFi will provide high quality video streaming to large user numbers in dedicated locations without saturating the terrestrial broadband telecommunication network. It will facilitate a tremendous increase in video consumption creating major benefits for content providers together with a range of businesses and their customers,” said Pandelis Kourtessis, reader in communication networks at the University of Hertfordshire’s optical networks lab.

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Future BBC iPlayer could tell who is in the room and notice when the children have gone to bed

The BBC is developing a new version of the iPlayer that harnesses artificial intelligence, with the potential for your television to ‘spy’ on the household and tell who is in a room.

As part of the corporation’s quest to “personalise” its services, it has joined forces with Microsoft to build an experimental version of iPlayer.

The prototype uses voice recognition technology, allowing users to talk to their television. When a user says, ‘Show me something funny,’ it presents a list of comedy programmes. It responds to the question, ‘What’s going on in the world?’ by automatically playing the BBC News channel.

Your TV could automatically detect when there are multiple people in the living roomCyrus Saihan, the BBC’s head of digital partnerships

Cyrus Saihan, the BBC’s head of digital partnerships, distribution and business development, outlined his vision of the service’s future when the technology has caught up.

“There could be interesting scenarios in a typical family setting,” he said.

“Just by listening to the voices in the room, your TV could automatically detect when there are multiple people in the living room, and serve up a personalised mix of content relevant to all of you in the room.

“When your children leave the room to go to bed, BBC iPlayer might hear that the children are no longer there and then suggest a different selection of content for you and your partner. All of this personalisation could happen without anyone having to press a button, sign in and out or change user profiles.”

Writing on the BBC’s website, Saihan said viewers in the future could have conversations with their television set.

He said: “Whether watching a football match or a quiz show, most of us have at some point shouted at our TV, perhaps half expecting it to hear us, know who we are and respond to us – in the future, we might find that it does!

“If we look further into the future, when artificial intelligence and machine learning have advanced sufficiently, you could end up in a conversation with your TV about what’s available to watch now, whether you like the sound of it or not, whether there’s something coming up that you’re interested in, and what you like to watch when you’re in a certain mood.”

The new service would be in the mould of Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri (pictured)
The new service would be in the mould of Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri (pictured) CREDIT: OLI SCARFF/GETTY IMAGES

The new service would be in the mould of Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, both voice-controlled “digital assistants”.

Fears have been raised that Alexa and Siri could be vulnerable to hackers. But Richard Benson of cyber security firm Xanadata said a voice-activated iPlayer would not present a risk.

“As long as it is well designed, it is not inherently less secure than using a password. And passwords come with their own problems – they have to be non-alpha-numeric, they can require changing every month. In the future we will see voice activation, face recognition or your location all used, rather than actively putting in a password.”

A spokesman for the BBC said: “This was simply an internal experiment to help us better understand voice technologies in the home. No user data was collected and this isn’t a new service we’re planning on launching. User privacy is extremely important to us and we’ve a published a very clear privacy promise to our audiences.”

Written by : Anita Singh

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