Netflix this morning announced its own take on virtual assistants like the iPhone’s Siri,with the debut of “Max, ” an on-screen guide for the Netflix app on PlayStation 3 devices,which helps you find new movies or TV shows to watch. And yes,the guide does talk to you,but thankfully has yet to manifest itself in some more corporeal format,like Microsoft’s “Bob.”
Instead,Max — which Netflix says is “rumored to be the child of Siri and HAL 9000″ — will ask you a few questions about your mood or movie and TV show tastes in order to make a recommendation,while also taking into account your interests as already understood by Netflix’s algorithms.
Max also offers a game show-like experience called “The Ratings Game, ” where you can pick a genre that fits your mood,and then Netflix — err,Max — runs through a few titles you might like and has you rate them on a 5-star scale.
After gaining a better understanding of your interests,Max may offer personalized suggestions after asking only one question.In an example provided by Netflix on its blog,Max asks if you prefer “monkeys” or “UFOs” to make its — err,his — recommendations. And at other times,Max will simply make a suggestion,no Q&A involved.
All the while,Max speaks to interact with you using a goofy,“I’m a game-show host!, ” type of voice. (You can almost imagine him saying,“no,I’m sorry,the correct answer was ‘UFO’s',it’s back to zero for you.”)
Netflix has been experimenting with Max for some time,having first been spotted last summer in the form of an app update for some PS3 owners. At the time,there was no word as to whether Netflix would be rolling out Max to the full PS3 network,or to other gaming consoles or Netflix platforms.
Today,however,Netflix seems to be making a broader commitment to this silly assistant,promising “we’ll expand his repertoire and make him available on other devices in the future,likely the iPad next.” The company tells TechCrunch that the iPad is expected for six months to a year from now,if Max proves successful.
Straight from NetFlix2004-04-16 18:06:42 by About-Price-Increases
Why are you adjusting prices? What are the new prices and when will they go into effect?
Since launching our service four years ago, we've added more than 20 distribution centers in order to provide one-business-day delivery to most of our members. We've also expanded our library by thousands of titles and now offer more than 18,000 to choose from. During the four years, improvements such as these, as well as postal changes, have increased the cost of doing business.
On June 15, 2004, our prices will change to:
* Standard - 3 movies out a time for $21.99
* Plus - 5 movies out a time for $33.99
* Ultimate - 8 movies out at a time for $49.99
* Economy - 2 movies out at a time (limit: 4 rentals per month) for $14.99
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