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Touchscreen Echo

Amazon is Making it Easier for Cable Companies to Add Alexa Voice Commands

June 8, 2017

Just a few weeks ago, Dish introduced a new feature that lets customers control much of their television viewing experience using Amazon’s Alexa. With the skill installed, you can switch channels, fast-forward, rewind and even record your shows just using your voice. Now, Amazon is offering similar skills to all developers, letting them pull up tv shows and movies just using their voice.

"Alexa... Play House of Cards"

"Alexa... Play House of Cards"

From Amazon’s blog post:

Companies can now teach Alexa how to interface with their video content and services. This means you can now build experiences that allow your customers to easily find and consume video content without invoking a specific skill. For example, a customer could say, ‘Alexa, play Manchester by the Sea’ without specifying a provider or device. Through the Video Skill API, Alexa is aware of video devices and services your customer has or subscribes to.

I continue to believe that one of the biggest annoyances of watching traditional television is the user interface. Scrolling through can often be confusing and there are many times when you simply just don’t know where the content is. Instead, the idea of just asking for the content makes complete sense to me. Apple and Amazon have both implemented many of these features, but they require you use the remote. To me, the next logical step is to remove the requirement to use a remote and let people simply just “ask the air.” The sooner we get there, the better.