TellDJ, whose prototype has been featured on Engadget and The Verge, amongst other sites, is a new way to listen and experience music. The aim of TellDJ is to sit between you and your media player, and faciliate your music listening experience. A highlight feature, which I can discuss publicly, is the ability to say the song's name, album, artist, or playlist into your microphone and TellDJ will start playing your request using speech recognition. This means you don't have to scroll through your list of songs to find the one you're thinking of. It also features a powerful Voice Recognition Lab which allows you to dive into TellDJ's speech recognition system and adjust it to your voice or accent. There is a lot to discuss about TellDJ, but this article will focus on the Ultrabook aspects.
Desktop PCs are generally stationary, and so you have to be next to it when you want to select the songs you want to listen to. If you're entertaining guests at a party, or on the other side of the room, this can be tedious. You can download apps that allow you to remotely control your media player, but TellDJ is designed to go beyond the basics. Besides the built-in features, it's an app that's designed for its form factor. For example, when using a phone to wirelessly control your desktop music, it takes advantage of the phone's microphone capability and touch screen. On the PC, however, it takes advantage of the mouse, keyboard, and any microphone input (headset, webcam, Kinect etc..). This one-size-doesn't-fit-all approach, and program architecture, ensure that it can be easily adjusted to suit the form factor it's running on.
TellDJ for Ultrabooks
There are various features that an Ultrabook boasts which will enable TellDJ to take advantage of its form factor and, in turn, provide an innovative approach to experiencing music. Like mobile phones, Ultrabooks are portable, and like desktop PCs, they are capable of storing a large number of mp3s. This combination is powerful and, combined with the sensors, TellDJ will be able to bring a very unique user experience.
GPS Sensor - Using the GPS sensor in the Ultrabook, it would allow a feature where the user's current location can be used to choose which playlist should be loaded. So, for example, in a library the user is likely to be working, so TellDJ will automatically load songs the user likes to listen to whilst working. However, this sensor can also be combined with the microphone (besides the song-requesting aspect). Using the microphone, TellDJ will calculate the ambient noise and adjust the music volume accordingly.
GPS Example - A user is in a café and so TellDJ will launch the songs the user likes to listen to in that environment. The user continues to work but as the day goes on, more and more people enter the café and the ambient noise increases. Instead of the user having to manually increase the volume, TellDJ automatically increases it for them, so they can continue working without having to lose their train of thought. As the crowd filters out, the volume will be decreased to avoid the music being unnecessarily loud. It's a very subtle feature, but incredibly useful in execution.
Light Sensor - By accessing the Ultrabook's light sensor, TellDJ is able to introduce a new form of requesting tracks. If you've used the PC beta version of TellDJ, you will have noticed that you can request songs with a mouse or with the keyboard. Likewise, on the phone, users can use the touch screen to make their request clear. In addition to the keyboard and mouse, TellDJ on Ultrabooks will allow users to make request using the light sensor as the interface.
Light Sensor Example - In line with the app's philosophy of not getting in the way, and being unique, TellDJ on the Ultrabook will allow the user to put their finger over the sensor, say the name of the song (via the device's microphone) and then lift their finger. Using the information gathered from the light sensor and microphone, TellDJ will launch the song the user has requested and the user wouldn't have to leave the app they're using.
These are a couple of examples of how I would like to take advantage of the sensors in order to enhance the music listening experience. In addition to this, there are other features some of which, in my opinion, are more innovative than anything publicly announced about TellDJ so far. However, due to commercials interests, I cannot discuss these features at this time except to say that they also take advantage of further sensors and hardware features on the Ultrabook.
The app is a Windows 8 desktop app, and is planned to be submitted to the Intel AppUp store and, in regards to the competition categories, it will fall under 'Entertainment'.
Click here to see a video demonstration of the voice control aspect of TellDJ and how it can launch any Zune track. Skip to 4:20 to see the wireless requesting demonstration. Whilst the Windows Phone app can be used with the Ultrabook version, TellDJ for Ultrabooks can also use the built in microphone, in conjunction with the light sensor (as described earlier), to launch the song. This is the philosophy of creating an app suitable for the form-factor it's running on.
If you use Zune media player, you can download and use the beta version of TellDJ which is known as TellDJ Rehearsal. Visit www.telldj.com for more details.