Amazon has introduced a new infrared device, designed to extend Alexa voice control to TVs, sound bars, cable boxes and A/V receivers.
Retailing for $34.99 when it ships Dec. 11, the Fire TV Blaster is designed to work with an Amazon Echo smart speaker and a compatible Fire TV streaming device, such as a Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Control, Fire TV Stick 4K or third-generation Fire TV.
Using the Fire TV Blaster, users can use Alexa voice to, among other things, turn on their TV, adjust volume and switch inputs. They can also select what channel they want to tune into.
As Amazon explained it, a user with the right three-Amazon-device configuration can tell their Echo, “Amazon, play Jack Ryan on Fire TV,” and the system will turn on the TV and fire up the Amazon Prime original show.
“The complexity of television right now is hard for people to manage. The best way to get at that is with voice,” said Sandeep Gupta, vice president of Fire TV devices experiences, speaking Tuesday at the Streaming Media West Conference in Downtown Los Angeles. “Just being able to say the title of a show is much easier way to do that. Voice just kind of resonates with customers.”