When it first came out, I wasn’t desperately impressed with the Amazon Echo. It’s great for music lovers as you can play just about any track or play list that you choose with voice activation. However it was severely limited on the type of search query that you might type into Google.
There are thousands of Alexa Skills for the Echo but as developers can’t monetise them, sadly a good 90% of them are total spam that no sane person would ever use. Half the good ones are US based so there were very few usable apps for the UK.
Alexa has got a lot smarter though, she can now at least tell me that my nearest shop is Sainsbury and what their normal opening hours are, but the one disappointment was TV control. Even using IFTTT it would be fiendishly difficult for the average person to set up and get to work, but now that’s coming courtesy of a brand new Fire TV Stick with Alexa support.
Shipping on the 6th of April, all-new Fire TV Stick is the first UK version to ship with an Alexa Voice Remote included and will cost £39.99.
Why is the new Fire TV Stick with Alexa important to online retailers?
You may want to use a Fire TV Stick, they’re pretty good, but as an online retailer what difference will it make to your business?
Consumers are going to be using their Alexa Voice Remote to control their TV, but they will also start to use it to check the weather, the train times, and to buy things! Imagine you’re sat watching a film on Amazon Video and now you want to eat, with the Fire TV Stick’s Alexa Voice Remote that you just used to start the film you can order pizza from Dominos or ask Alexa to deliver a chinese using Just Eat. When the delivery arrives you tell Alexa to pause the film or if you forget simply ask her to rewind five minutes.
In the middle of the film a scene triggers an impluse buy, while it’s in your mind you can ask Alexa to add the item to your shopping list.
The world is going to change rapidly and while Alexa on Amazon’s Fire TV Stick may not be the ultimate solution, many will love voice control of their TV and quickly get into the habit of using Alexa while they watch.
Interestingly, not even Amazon look at Alexa as a means to selling products on Amazon, not yet anyway. Their main focus is to become an indispensable part of your life and get you signed up to Amazon Prime. That’s why FBA is so important for Amazon merchants if you want to accelerate your sales.
What to expect from the new Fire TV Stick and Alexa Voice Remote
Over 7,000 channels, apps, and Alexa skills, and access to thousands of movies and TV episodes from services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, Curzon Home Cinema DisneyLife, BBC News and BBC Sport, as well as Prime Video, Amazon Video and many more – and watch live TV on BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub.
Fast and accurate voice search powered by Alexa
Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote responds quickly and lets you easily search across apps and channels. Just say “find suspense thrillers” or “open Netflix” and Alexa will respond.
For Amazon Video content, you can also control playback with just your voice; just ask Alexa to “go back 30 seconds” or “jump ahead two minutes.”
Just ask Alexa
With the included Alexa Voice Remote, customers can easily ask Alexa to get the news and weather, check their commute, get sports scores, create shopping lists, play music, order a car from Uber or takeaway from Just Eat, and much more.
Stunning video quality
With an ultra-fast quad-core processor, 802.11ac MIMO Wi-Fi and Advanced Streaming and Prediction (ASAP) for Amazon Video, you can rely on fast, fluid performance without buffering. Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote also offers support for High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), giving customers more 1080p HD streams from their existing internet connection.
Plug the Fire TV Stick into an HDTV, attach the power adapter, connect to Wi-Fi, and start streaming in minutes. Quickly find things to watch using the included Alexa Voice Remote, or discover more to watch with personalised recommendations right from the home screen. The Fire TV Stick is also portable, making it easy to take it almost anywhere and watch all your favourite content away from home.
Fire TV Stick offers several features to support access by visually impaired customers. These include the VoiceView screen reader, automatic reading of programme information, high contrast text for easier viewing, and more.