The once-humble TV remote control is undergoing a major design makeover these days, with enterprises such as AT&T developing new devices with advanced features such as touch pads and voice controls. "The options for the typical viewer are exploding," said AT&T Labs' Juergen Schroter. "That leads to a very heavy hammerlike device with lots of keys," he said. "We believe here in the labs that speech will basically make it possible to leap-frog all this and just tell the system what you want to watch."

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