This time Amazon does something it never did before. This is latest Amazon Fire TV Cube, i.e. basically a Fire TV with a speaker and the Alexa smart assistant built-in.
To this, Sandeep Gupta, VP of product development of Amazon Fire TV, added that “One thing that’s happened over the last few years is that there are more and more ways to watch content. We wanted to create a device to simplify that”.
This Fire TV Cube connects to the user’s TV and can provide up to 4K UHD content from Amazon Prime services, Hulu, Netflix and other apps. It also serves as an Echo speaker, which means that with this users would be also able to call across the room to check the weather, turn on the lights, order things from Amazon or even call a friend.
However, the Fire TV Cube is not entirely hands-free yet. Some apps or streaming services might as well require viewers to pick up the included remote to rewind or stop a show. Amazon here added that it’s working with those services to integrate voice commands.
Amazon’s other voice-controlled Fire TV devices require a push of the remote’s mic button or a separate Echo device with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. So, unlike the other devices, the Cube would let viewers switch between streaming services like Netflix and regular cable channels with such voice commands as “Alexa, turn on ESPN.” The new device would also perform typical Alexa tasks, such as playing “Jeopardy!” or fetching the weather, even when the TV is off.
Amazon foresees this Alexa as a major part of its future. It has struck deals to put the voice assistant in cars, refrigerators and alarm clocks. Getting people to use Alexa keeps them tied to Amazon’s services and ultimately buying more from the online retailer.
Also, this Cube would be available later this month for $120 which is roughly ₹8,000.
The unveiling of the Fire TV Cube emerged as Amazon became the first internet streaming service to buy rights to Premier League soccer matches, though they would be available only to Prime members in Britain under a three-year deal.