Whether it's for phones or Bluetooth speakers, Amazon's march towards squeezing its Alexa voice assistant into every conceivable connected gadget continues at a pace. The latest device to join its ranks is EE TV, the set-top box from the mobile network giant.
From today, owners of both the EE TV box and a compatible Alexa device, such as the Echo or Echo Dot, will be able to use voice commands sent from the connected speakers to control certain aspects of the TV interface.
For instance, viewers will be able to ask Alexa "what's on tonight?", with Alexa returning recommendations the Freeview Picks service. They'll then be given the option to record any of the recommendations offered up. And, as it's the Alexa-enabled speaker taking the command and sending it the box over the internet, it doesn't matter if the EE TV box itself is in standby mode.
More to come?
EE suggests it's the first of a series of Alexa-enabled functions heading to its TV platform, with "a number of commands being reviewed" for inclusion, including "Amazon's Alexa Video Skill APIs."
"This is much more natural, and an experience that will get even better in future," said Alexa Skills Kit's General Manager Fabrice Rousseau of the update.
Alexa-controlled TV options are relatively novel in the UK, with (predictably) Amazon's own Fire TV devices leading the charge, along with Logitech's Harmony universal remote series. In the US there are a few more options to choose from, including devices from Dish and Pulse-Eight.
- Got an Echo or Echo Dot? These are the best Amazon Echo Alexa skills and commands