Tech

Netflix introduces 'Max', a cool Siri-like virtual assistant for its PS3 app

By Randell Suba , Jul 01, 2013 11:16 AM EDT

"I have got something awesome for you here" - this will be one of the lines of Max, a virtual assistant launched by Netflix for its PlayStation 3 app. The recommendation tool will suggest TV shows and movies depending on the subscriber's moods and preferences.

The talking Netflix virtual assistant, rolled out starting June 28, will try to make life easier for users of the internet television network by helping them choose the media they want to view. It does this through fun games such as Celebrity Mood Ring, Rating Game and Max's Mystery Call.

"People have wide tastes. When they talk to Max, he finds out what they're in the mood for," said Todd Yellin, vice president of product innovation at Netflix, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

The gamification of the interface so the virtual assistant will know the choices of the users make Max quite unique from competitors. Max also interjects humorous and cheesy dialogues to make the process fun.

Max can be found on one of the sliders in the home screen but Netflix users can move it down from the third or fourth position in case they are not interested with Max.

According to The Next Web, Max can also randomly choose a movie or TV show for users in case they really cannot pick from the list. The user's viewing history and preferences will help the software assistant to select the movie perfect for the user.

"These are three of the ways Max will offer you a suggestion. More and more U.S. Netflix members will get this experience during the upcoming weeks. If Max performs at the level he promises, we'll expand his repertoire and make him available on other devices in the future, likely the iPad next. If you're outside the U.S., sorry Max will be available to our U.S. members only for now," Netflix explained through its official blog.

Max is a product of the collaboration between Netflix and Chicago-based company Jellyvision that has been known for its interactive Q&A games. Netflix first tested Max in summer 2012 to see how it can help personalize its service's contents.

Netflix wants to clarify that Max is not the love child of HAL 9000 and Siri.

Get a sneak peek of how Netflix Max works, in the video below:

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