You’ve all read the name of the new Amazon Fire TV Stick but maybe part of it didn’t sink in. It’s called Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote”. The “…with Alexa Voice Remote” is very important and just exemplifies what tremendous value this new device really is.
If you don’t know what Alexa is, it’s Amazon’s personal assistant built into the Amazon Echo series of devices including the Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap and the Amazon Echo Dot. It’s the woman inside your box who talks back to you when you issue a voice command and tries to intelligently understand what you’re asking her to do. That’s a very simplistic description, but I think l you get the picture. The Home Assistant is starting to come of age and really does add intelligent control to the general public. Google are launching their own home assistant device in November called Google Home that will directly compete with Amazon and their Alexa eco-system.
So yes folks, Alexa is also living inside your new shiny 2016 Amazon Fire TV Stick and can do everything you’re Echo, Tap or Dot can do. Only difference is, your Amazon Echo costs $179.99 on Amazon, your Amazon Tap costs $129.99 and your Amazon Echo Dot costs $49.99. Don’t get me wrong, these are all amazing devices and everything has its place in your home, but you can now get into the Alexa game with your Fire TV stick which is a more mainstream device people use for their video and audio streaming fix, such as Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu.
I’ve been playing a little bit with the Voice Remote and more importantly fire up the Alexa app on my Android phone, heading into the Smart Home settings and setup a new Skill called HomeSeer. HomeSeer is a home automation system I have throughout my house to control lighting, detect motion and plenty of other cool events.
Installing the HomeSeer Skill allows your Alexa enabled devices to interface and detect home automation devices and the voice control them. Yes, you heard that right, for $39 I can now voice control my home automation appliances. Holding the Mic button on the remote of my Amazon Alexa Voice Remote and saying “Turn Downstairs Lights On” does exactly what I wanted it to do, turns on my lights downstairs. The possibilities are endless and I’ve only just started playing with different home automation events. So far, it has worked flawlessly.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as there are vast amounts of Skills you can add to Alexa from everything like adding items to your shopping list to controlling your Home Automation systems. The possibilities are limitless and growing rapidly as more and more third party developers create new and amazing interfaces to your Alexa devices.
If you want to see what the device looks like, you can check out our un-boxing and hands-on video of the Amazon FireTV Stick.
If you’ve been playing around with Alexa or the new Fire TV Stick, let us know your thoughts down below.