Amazon announced a new tool for its smart assistant Alexa to help you surf the TV much easier. Before, Alexa allowed you to control Fire TV and open your favorite show on Netflix, but now this will be available for any streaming service, cable company, or any provider of TV programs. The tool will shortly come at the help of developers, and will allow them to create voice controlling for these apps.
Changing channels by voice using Amazon Alexa
The new Video Skill API is the tool developers need to allow people make use of Alexa and Echo devices to control the programs they’re viewing on TV. By using voice control, they will be able to change channels, search for a particular show, browse movies by genre, pause the program or restart it, and all they have to do is ask the assistant to do it.
However, these changes won’t come instantly. Before providing handsfree control of the apps, developers need to update them and make them compatible with the API, and some might not be willing to do it. Even so, Amazon revealed that several companies have already started using the API. These include NetGem, YouView, and Dish.
This option will come for several TV provider services
Dish announced the integration of the Alexa smart assistant in May, and became the first TV provider in the US which allows users to remotely control their channels using their voice. Therefore, users who own Alexa-equipped devices have to run a few setup processes to pair them up and they’re ready to go.
Amazon revealed that several other TV services have adopted the API. However, they cannot reveal any names yet, since the apps and pairings are still in development. This Alexa configuration will allow not only for remote control of the channels, but it can also help the assistant improve its responses without the user being actively involved.
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