Roku Takes on Alexa With New Connected Home Features

Roku Takes on Alexa With New Connected Home Features

Roku Takes on Alexa With New Connected Home Features

Roku already offers voice searching with its TV streaming devices, but with a virtual assistant it wants to build upon that, allowing users to, for example, request that a certain type of music is played in a specific room in the house all through a voice command. They'll be able to use Roku's platform as a basis for their devices, ensuring full compatibility with the company's new Roku Connect wireless audio software. Equipment makers also will be able to license smart soundbar and speaker hardware reference designs, as well as the Roku operating system, Roku said. TCL, one partner, will unveil its first Roku voice assistant product during the CES gadget show in Las Vegas next week, Roku said.

Roku has announced plans for a "whole home" ecosystem that will allow third-party manufacturers to use Roku Connect software as part of a home entertainment system.

Streaming device maker Roku is officially getting ready to take on Amazon's Echo: The company unveiled its new home audio licensing program Wednesday, outlining plans to team up with consumer electronics manufacturers for Roku -powered smart speakers and sound bars. Roku is setting that up for single-room and multi-room audio set-ups and a way for those speakers to connect and integrate with Roku TVs and Roku streaming players.

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Roku, Inc operates television streaming platform.

It looks like Roku has plans to join tech giants Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Samsung in the voice-activated assistant race.

Unlike its competitors, the Roku voice assistant's functionality will be purely limited to entertainment.

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The company isn't new to licensing efforts either, with Roku launching a smart TV licensing platform just a few years ago.

Roku Connect: This program enables OEM partners to develop OEM devices that wirelessly connect to Roku OS components within a home.

From that point forward, eight TV brands have begun offering Roku TVs in North America. And while Roku's assistant is now exclusively entertainment-focused, it's hard to ignore the similarities - especially when Alexa figures so prominently in the appeal of the Fire TV, Amazon's streaming device and a direct competitor to Roku's line of products. Roku Connect will effectively act as the central hub of all of your entertainment devices in your home, controllable with the new Entertainment Assistant.

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It likewise said that Magnavox will be the ninth and most up to date TV brand to offer Roku TVs, as a component of its CES 2018 declarations.

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