Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Amazon's Fire TV Cube gives Alexa control of your entertainment system

Amazon launches Echo Look in U.S., could popularize computer vision via Alexa Amazon’s new smart speaker is a TV streaming box, and vice versa
Nina Mathis | 10 June, 2018, 06:14

The Amazon FIre TV Cube looks like an interesting device. Plus, since it's a streaming device, it can stream content from stuff like Prime Video and Netflix and still give you access to all of Alexa's skills.

But the Fire TV Cube is finally out, priced at an aggressive $119.99 on pre-order in the U.S. today, and even made available for a discounted $89.99 for Prime members today and tomorrow only. This is a better deal on the Echo Show than Amazon offered on Prime Day previous year.

As Alexa also works on voice sensor along with Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Box but the Fire TV Cube works as a full-featured Echo device that is always on and waits to listen to the wake words with its eight built-in microphones and also responding to you with its built-in speakers. You can use Google Home to control a Chromecast, for example, or any Echo to navigate your Fire TV. And, like the Polk Alexa-enabled Command Bar (which is a soundbar that also has a light ring), the buttons on the top also copy those found on an Echo. You can do things like ask for the weather, check your calendar, and get your daily briefing all thanks to the streaming box.

Amazon engineers have been promoting the development of foreign language applications with the release past year of Cleo Alexa, a skill whose primary goal is helping Alexa understand different languages and dialects.




But Fire TV Cube also has far-field voice recognition. Even with the TV off, simply say "Alexa, play Billions on SHOWTIME" and Fire TV Cube powers on your TV and starts playback right where you left off.

Interestingly enough, the Fire TV Cube has some brand new competition on the audio side of things in Sonos' slick and smart new soundbar, the Sonos Beam. It's compatible with TVs, cable and satellite boxes, A/V receivers, and more. Customers who purchase and register their Fire TV Cube by July 1, will also receive a $10 credit for Prime Video.

"We believe voice makes it easier for customers to control their entertainment systems and watch the TV and movies they care about", said Marc Whitten, Vice President of Fire TV. The Fire TV Cube will begin shipping on June 21 and costs $119.

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