Amazon can now control Roku devices. Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa can already perform a number of tasks, and now it has added a new task to its skills. The skill, announced Tuesday will now let Alexa interact with Roku devices such as the Roku streaming player and TV. The service now adds more flexibility in how Roku owners control their devices and consume their entertainment.
The service will allow Roku app to work with any Alexa-enabled device, including the Amazon Echo, Echo Show, Echo Spot, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus, as well as those powered by Alexa from third parties, the company confirmed to TechCrunch.
With this service, Roku TV owners will now be able to control various functions related to their television including turning on and off the TV, adjusting the volume, switching inputs, and changing channels, if needed.
Senior vice president of Roku OS, Ilya Asnis said, “This offering helps underscore the value proposition Roku offers as a foundation for a number of different home entertainment choices.” People now prefer having multiple voice ecosystems in their homes, Asnis said in a press release announcing the feature. “By allowing our customers to integrate Alexa with their TV, in addition to Roku voice search, we are strengthening the value Roku offers as a neutral platform in home entertainment.”
Moreover, owners of an Alexa-enabled device like an Echo Show or Echo Dot can control things such as pause a show, launch a streaming channel and search for entertainment options. To enable this, you just have to do is speak a command like “Alexa, find comedies on Roku” or “Alexa, open Hulu on Roku.”
Similarly, Roku TV users can also do things like turn on their TV, change the volume and switch channels if there’s an OTA antenna connected by speaking a command like “Alexa, turn the volume up or down on Roku.” To get this set up, open the Alexa app and close TV & video from within “Settings.” After that, enable the Roku and link it to your Amazon account. The added support for Amazon Alexa will be available to devices running Roku OS 8.1 or higher.