Amazon's personal assistant expands to TVs and the company's own media streamers.
Lost the remote control? Perhaps you should just ask Alexa to change the channel or turn the volume up; Amazon's personal assistant this week expanded to TVs and the company's own media streamers.
Sony's 2017 lineup of 4K HDR televisions with Android TV now play nice with Alexa. Users can now ask Alexa to turn on their TV, raise or lower the volume, play, pause, stop, fast forward, switch inputs, and change channels.
"Voice control is a natural way to interact with technology in one's home," Sony said in a news release. Those with an Alexa-enabled device like the Amazon Echo, Echo Show, or Echo Dot and a compatible Sony set can now simply say: Alexa, turn on my Living Room TV; Alexa, set the volume to 60 on my kitchen TV; or Alexa, change channel to CNN on my bedroom TV.
Meanwhile, Logitech is making it easier to control Harmony-connected devices via Alexa. Instead of saying "Alexa, ask Harmony to turn on the TV," you can now simply say "Alexa, turn on the TV."
"If you ask Alexa to turn on your Harmony Activity, such as 'Alexa, turn on the TV,' 'turn on ESPN,' or 'turn on Netflix,' then subsequent commands such as 'Alexa, turn up the volume,' 'Alexa, pause,' or 'Alexa, tune to channel number 29,' will all seamlessly be routed through Logitech Harmony," Logitech wrote in a news release. "That's how intuitive it is."
Logitech Harmony owners with the Harmony — Optimized for Smart Home Alexa skill already enabled can start using these new commands immediately. If you don't yet have this skill, enable it via the Alexa app.
Finally, as of this week, you can now control Amazon Fire TV devices via Alexa. This way, you can easily queue up Transparent even if you misplace your Fire TV remote.