Amazon has upgraded its TV streaming device with hardware improvement and Alexa voice command ability.
The upgraded version now is named Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote. Its major features stay the same with the original Five TV Stick – streaming TV apps (like Netflix and Hulu), Amazon Video streaming services and play games on user's television. But now, with the upgraded device, you can talk with the tv stick just like how you command Amazon's Alexa-enabled devices.
For example, users can search contents, launch apps, play video clips and control playback by their voice commands. More, they also can enable Alexa skills from the tv stick, such as online searching, creating shopping lists, asking weather forecasts or ordering pizza.
The main difference from other Alexa-enabled devices is that users need to turn on the TV and press a button on the remote control to activate Alexa, while Amazon Echo or Amazon Dot is always on and listening to the commands.
According to Amazon, the new quad-core Mediatek 8127D processor on the updated tv stick can increase the processing speed by 30%. The company also improved the connectivity abilities by featuring Bluetooth from 3.0 to 4.1 and adding 802.11ac Wi-Fi support.
The Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote is not the first tv product Amazon added Alexa skills. Last year, Amazon updated its Fire TV box and added Alexa-enabled abilities. But, the tv box is positioned at a higher market and costs $100 while the tv stick is priced at $40.
Main competitors of the FIre TV Stick are Roku and Google's Chromecast. Few days ago, Roku just introduced a new streaming device with 4K resolution capability; and Google might unveil its latest casting product with 4K next week. Amazon's Fire TV box does support 4K streaming, however, the new tv stick doesn't.
On the other hand, Apple's latest Apple TV, which announced last year, also supports Siri voice commands. Including searching for actors on specific tv series or asking about weathers and live sport scores. Apple TV is priced the highest in the market with $149.
The Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote will start shipping on October 20 with $40 price.