Code uncovered by AFTVnews inside the latest developer preview of Fire OS 5 reveals “overwhelming evidence” that Amazon will bring Alexa to the Fire TV. While users can already query the Fire TV for content, an update would allow users to ask their streaming media player about the weather, sports scores and of course shopping on Amazon, much as Echo users currently do.
According to the developer code, users can “hold down the voice button on any voice-enabled remote to make your request.” That, along with other code in the preview, seems to confirm that it would work with current Fire TVs and their voice-enabled remotes. The Fire TV Remote app should also work.
In a “Things To Try” section of Fire OS, available actions include playing audiobooks, listening to news briefings, adding calendar events and reordering Amazon Prime items like batteries or toothpaste.The voice commands may be joined by on-screen cards with information about weather, shopping and traffic.
Alexa debuted on the Amazon Echo, a always-on Bluetooth speaker that plays Amazon Prime Music and answers queries from users. In June, Amazon opened the power of Alexa to other developers with the Alexa Skills Kit.
With the main Fire TV out of stock on Amazon.com, Amazon is likely gearing up to debut some new hardware soon. Amazon would be racing against Apple to release a streaming box with an AI assistant; Siri will be coming to the updated Apple TV in October.