Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Roku to join voice-assistant race

Roku to join voice-assistant race

The TV streaming device maker said that it would be developing its own voice assistant that will help users to play music, shows and movies in an easy and convenient manner using voice commands.

Consenus is, eventually multiple devices utilising Roku's Connect software will work together, creating a wireless "home entertainment hub" which consumers can control using their voice.

The home entertainment licensing program will give manufacturers the ability to license the Roku OS to develop smart speakers.

Expect Roku to reveal more information about these upcoming products at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 in Las Vegas next week.

For example, you could say, "Hey Roku, play rock music in the living room" and a connected speaker would do just that, even without having to turn on the television. (NASDAQ:ROKU) news were published by: Investorplace.com which released: "Investors Should Sell Roku Inc Stock Before “Getting Garmined”" on December 12, 2017, also Streetinsider.com with their article: "Morgan Stanley Downgrades Roku Inc".

Licensing of Roku Connect, as with the smart-TV interface, will be an increasing objective for the company.

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Roku hopes to have the voice assistant up and running by this fall, pushing it out first to "most Roku TVs and players", says the company But the first device under the new Roku Connect system will be unveiled at CES next week.

One advantage Roku has in its own space is that it already has a voice-operated remote control that could execute simple commands.

In addition to striking hardware licensing agreements with companies like TCL, Roku is also reaching out to the wider home audio ecosystem with a program called Roku Connect.

Roku said its licensing deals are not exclusive, so if manufacturers wanted to, they could also include rival services such as Alexa in the same product as Roku Entertainment Assistant. Now, there are nine TV brands offering Roku TVs, with Magnavox being the latest (and part of Roku's CES 2018 announcements).

Since then, eight TV brands have started selling Roku TVs in North America. Roku said Magnavox is becoming the ninth TV manufacturer to license its discovery technology, meaning that one of every five smart TVs sold in the USA features a Roku user interface.

While Roku's voice-activated assistant is set to become more capable, its functionality still seems to feature a much narrower scope when compared to major players like Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa.

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