Amazon Alexa’s Latest Target: TVs and More

An Echo in front of a TV
Credit: Engadget

Since the release of the Echo and Alexa, Amazon periodically updates its device with the latest software version, which includes brand new features every week. For this week, Amazon has added support for televisions that aren’t necessarily Alexa compatible out of the box and other TV related devices like the Logitech Harmony and Broadlink productsUsing Alexa, one can simply request:

“Channel up on TV”

“Volume down on TV”

“Rewind TV”

These commands open up a whole new avenue for smart home devices as a whole. The tech site Dealerscope reports that this update also introduced many under-the-hood API’s for Alexa concerning TV’s, AV receivers, IR hubs, and speakers. Integrating more devices than just televisions puts Amazon in a unique position to offer control over older equipment.

This allows for these older model TVs to become “smart” without having to replace the television itself.

Televisions have already begun to integrate Alexa into their products; however, Amazon’s support of these third-party IR remote control devices open up the possibility of controlling TV models which do not have internet capabilities. This allows for these older model TVs to become “smart” without having to replace the television itself. The prospect of not having to upgrade a television to gain Alexa support is one that consumers consider more economical. Because of the lesser cost, more are predicted to adopt this type of configuration, further increasing the number of devices that Alexa will be able to assist with.

A Harmony remote next to an Echo

This technology is not limited to older model televisions, but also includes speakers, AV receivers, and almost anything else controlled by a radio frequency, opening up even more devices to potential connectivity. With minimal set-up Alexa is continuing to press the boundaries of what can be made “smart,” and the next update may go even further.

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