Amazon just released a new capability for its digital brain Alexa that is sure to delight chronic TV remote misplacers.
Alexa, through Amazon’s lineup of smart speakers, can now control several models of smart TVs using voice commands, the company said. U.S. users can now ask Alexa on their Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show device to do things like turn on the TV, change the channel, adjust the volume and more. At the moment, these capabilities work with 2017 Sony 4K HDR Android TVs and select models of 2016 Sony 4K HDR Android TVs, as well as Logitech Harmony and BroadLink devices.
Amazon added that it now allows developers to set up Alexa control of TVs and other entertainment devices. Several brands, including LG, Crestron, Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio and Definitive Technology, are planning to integrate Alexa control soon.
Amazon has been working on Alexa TV control for awhile. Both the Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick come with an Alexa-powered remote that lets people play TV shows, fast-forward and launch streaming services.
Amazon’s decision to open the digital brain up to developers and device manufacturers in 2015 has helped Alexa proliferate and learn more than 15,000 skills. Amazon has targeted the smart home market as a key area for Alexa, with one example being the recent new integrations between home cameras and the company’s new touchscreen Echo Show device.