Amazon is bringing together the Echo smart speaker and the Fire TV set-top video box into one single product – the Amazon Fire TV Cube.
It’s basically a cube-shaped box that you plug to your TV and it runs the usual apps like Netflix, Hulu, PlayStation, etc. Just like the Fire TV Stick, you can speak to Alexa in order to access third-party ‘skills’ and search for movies.
What the Fire TV Cube does differently is that it encompasses all of Echo; Alexa is always listening for the wake word and you can talk to it even if the TV is off.
It has eight microphones built in and you can navigate the Fire TV interface just by voice.
The Cube is able to power up your TV and cable box if asked to, and you can also customize a routine for you that matches the other smart home gadgets you might have available.
Even when the TV is off, you can still ask Alexa to go to what you want to watch by saying simply “Alexa, launch Hulu”. The Cube will power everything up automatically and tune in.
The Fire TV Cube does come with a standard remote control, for those times when you just don’t feel like talking.
For now, messaging and voice calls are not supported, as Amazon wants to keep their focus on entertainment, but we’re sure that is something that’s just waiting around the corner.
The Fire TV Cube comes with a price tag of $119.99 and it will start shipping on June 21st. If you are a Prime customer though, it will be available for $89.99 though, for the pre-orders that go out today and tomorrow.