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Apple wins technical Emmy award for Apple TV Siri integration

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The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on Tuesday handed Emmy awards out to a number of technology companies for achievements in media-related fields, with Apple taking one home for its work on Siri for Apple TV.

Apple is among four companies to be honored with a 2017 Technical / Engineering Achievement Award for "Contextual Voice Navigation for Discovering and Interacting with TV Content," with Comcast, Universal Electronics (UEI) and Nuance Dragon TV also receiving wins in the category.

Siri made its way to Apple TV in 2015 when Apple launched a fourth-generation set-top streaming device with a dedicated Siri Remote for interacting with the virtual assistant. Going beyond basic voice command functionality, Siri on Apple TV leverages artificial intelligence to drive user interactions.

At launch, for example, Apple promoted "What did he just say," an automatic rewind feature that plays back a portion of a movie with closed captioning switched on.

Related to the Emmy win, Siri is able to parse through thousands of movie, TV and other streaming video titles via natural language interactions. With a vast catalog of iTunes content, and Universal Search hooks into third-party apps like Netflix, Hulu and more, Apple TV is capable of highly granular queries. For example, users can ask Siri to surface James Bond films starring Sean Connery, or action movies made in the 1990s starring Wesley Snipes.

Apple is no stranger to the Emmys, having previously won awards for both commercial content and technical work related to mobile streaming technology.

The Emmy win comes on the heels of a lawsuit claiming certain Apple TV voice controls, including the "What did he say" feature, infringe on patents owned by a largely inactive software company.

Apple and its fellow Emmy winners will be honored at the 69th annual Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards, which is set to take place at the NAB Show on April 8th, 2018.