Today AFTVnews confirmed that Amazon is working on two new Fire TV models. The first one hangs off your television’s HDMI cord, similar to Google Chromecast. The second one is a standalone device which looks like a small cube and is an Amazon Fire and Echo device rolled into one and is said to be Amazon’s new flagship model. AFTV provided additional details:
The cube-shaped Fire TV has a series of holes on top to accommodate its array of far-field microphones that allow you to talk to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant without needing to use the voice remote, although one is still included. A speaker built into the Fire TV allows you to hear responses from Alexa if your television is turned off.
On top of the device are the exact same buttons found on the Echo Dot. A pair of volume buttons control the built-in speaker, a mute button allows you to disable the microphones, and an action button lets you manually trigger Alexa. The device also includes a familiar blue LED light bar that is common to all of Amazon’s Alexa devices.
Remote-Free Households Coming Soon
Amazon wants Alexa to a universal remote for the smart home. Last month, it introduced multi-room audio support so consumers could set up their own home sound system using multiple Echos. It also released a Smart Home Skill API in July, which gave skill developers and device manufacturers the ability to easily connect to and control their devices through Alexa. The Amazon’s new flagship Fire TV device takes advantage of this API and will provide hands-free voice control for most people to control every aspect of their televisions, like turning it on or off or adjusting the volume. The Alexa-powered Fire TV is yet another reason for Echo owners to choose Amazon over its competitors. It also provides another incentive for those looking to get their first smart speaker or smart home device to choose Amazon. If Alexa can control everything, why not choose Amazon to get started?