Roku announced that it will launch a voice assistant by fall 2018 on Wednesday. Its third-party partners would build speakers and audio systems to connect to Roku Connect ecosystem.
The voice assistant, which will be released as a free software update, will enable Roku players and TVs to control various devices through simple voice commands. Roku outlined TCL, its third-party partner will reveal the first Roku voice assistant during the CES gadget show to be held in Las Vegas next week.
The streaming media company has not revealed what controls users can avail with new voice assistant. It plans to expand its licensing program and launch “Roku Entertainment Assistant”.
Roku began its licensing program with its TV operating system after announcement of its partnership with Hisense and TCL in 2014. Roku confirmed TCL’s devices will be the first to be equipped with Roku’s entertainment assistant. However, it did not mention any details about services it will provide ahead of CES gadget show.
Following inception of its licensing program, total eight TV brands began rolling out Roku TVs in the North American region. The company also highlighted Magnavox will become the ninth TV brand to sell Roku TVs.
Roku will also launch reference designs for soundbars and WiFi connected speakers. Moreover, it will release Roku Connect software to help manufacturers build devices that can connect to Roku’s TV systems.
Commenting on licensing OS and offering reference designs, Roku executive Mark Ely told The Verge that Roku’s strategy to license the platform has become “the fastest way to acquire active accounts,” as compared to attracting new customers by selling streaming media players.