The Amazon Echo has proved a sleeper success, not only because it’s managed to sell consumers on the concept of voice-based commerce but because it has so many rich connections to third-party apps and services that consumers have come to rely on. Now, Amazon is strengthening the Echo’s ties with its own thriving entertainment ecosystem.
Amazon announced on Tuesday (May 17) that it had upgraded Echo support for its line of Fire TV products. Amazon had previously offered a remote for the Fire TV that could be controlled by users’ voices, but enhanced integration with the Echo platform means that they’ll be able to go truly hands-free with their binge-watching behaviors. Alongside basic playback controls already available through existing integrations, Tim Twerdahl, general manager of Amazon Fire TV, also noted that users will be able to add new channel subscriptions and search connected content for all their big-screen shopping needs without ever getting up from the couch.
“Customers have told us they love having the convenience of Alexa on their Amazon Fire TV,” Twerdahl said in a statement. “We’re excited to add new Alexa features to Fire TV, making it easier than ever to enjoy their favorite TV shows, movies and apps.”
While Amazon chose to tout the flashy improvements to its Echo-Fire TV project — like voice-activated access to YouTube’s growing 4K video library — the strengthened link between the two devices also gives consumers one less reason to leave the Amazon ecosystem. In fact, if Amazon continues to upgrade its products at this rate, there may not be anything left outside of Amazon’s purview when it comes to in-home commerce and nowhere else for consumers to shop.