It pairs Alexa’s smart and hands-free voice commands with Amazon’s popular 4K streaming device.

Amazon launches Fire TV Cube Alexa streaming device rolled into one
Atom Tech Shorts Saturday, June 09, 2018 - 17:46

Amazon has launched a device that combines its home speaker Echo and its video streaming device, the Fire TV. The cube shaped device is called Fire TV Cube and can do a lot of things the 2 devices could do individually.  The Fire TV Cube has just been launched and being made available to the customers in the US only, to begin with.

Amazon has built the device with multiple capabilities; it can at once act like a set top box that can stream 4K HD quality videos, while Alexa can execute the range of commands that you have been commanding at Echo and as an additional feature, it can be used as a universal remote control as well.

This latest feature is facilitated by IR blasters fitted on all sides of the cube and whatever inter-connected devices are there in the vicinity including the television set can be adjusted with it. Depending on the kind of voice command you give to Alexa, the Fire TV Cube can switch on or switch off the TV and so on. Even when the TV is OFF, if you issue a voice command to play a particular program, the device will switch the TV on and go into Netflix or any other folder that has the program and run it for you. Amazon has even included in the pack, an IR blaster extension device which can be deployed if the device to be controlled is tucked away inside a cabinet and where signals can’t reach.

Customers in the US, who are used to products like Logitech’s Harmony or Caavo may not be overly excited by this new Fire TV Cube from Amazon. But one cannot overlook some of the nice features on it as well. Switching the input modes from HDMI to the cable channels or changing to channels of your choice on one input when the TV is running on another source and that too on a simple command to Alexa are definitely useful.

Amazon is most likely working on making the device much more dynamic in the months to come. The mic, for example, in most home speakers is quite sensitive and can pick up voice commands from any corner of the room. The Fire TV Cube is far from that and only commands from the front of the device can be picked up. Many of the tasks you were using to Echo to do can be executed with this new device as well.

What is to be seen, however, is how the US public view the pricing of the Fire TV Cube, which is $120, though the Amazon Prime customers can order for $89.99 on the first two days of launch.

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