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Fire TV Cube gains a one-way intercom feature called ‘Alexa Announcements’ – TechCrunch


Fire TV Cube owners can now use their media streaming device to broadcast announcements around the home, similar to a one-way intercom. Amazon says it’s launching a feature called “Alexa Announcements,” which allows customers to speak to Alexa on the Fire TV Cube, then have their message announced in their own voice to all other Alexa-enabled devices in their household.

For example, you could announce that “the movie is about to start,” or say “Alexa, tell everyone that dinner is ready,” and have the message sent to your Echo devices or other compatible Alexa-enabled devices registered to your Amazon account.

To issue your broadcast, you preface it by saying either “Alexa, announce…,” “Alexa tell everyone…,” or “Alexa broadcast…”, Amazon notes.

In addition to being able to send out announcements yourself, the Fire TV Cube starting this month will also support announcements that are broadcast from select smart home devices – specifically, those where the doorbell is ringing or motion is detected.

In this case, Alexa will announce things like “motion detected at the front door” or “someone is at the front door,” and you can respond by saying “Alexa, show me the front door” to see your camera feed displayed on your TV.

You can customize which smart home announcements you’d like to see through the new Alexa Announcements section in the Alexa app.

Amazon didn’t say if or when the feature would come to other Fire TV devices.

However, this is not the first time the Fire TV Cube has been updated with a feature its other media players others don’t have.

In October, the Fire TV Cube was updated with a feature that allows you to use Alexa to navigate inside apps like Netflix and Hulu, which is especially helpful for accessibility purposes. It aids those with limited dexterity in their hands and fingers by allowing them to navigate by voice instead of pushing buttons. But it can also help if you’ve just misplaced the remote.

The Alexa Announcements feature is rolling out now to all Fire TV Cube customers in the U.S.



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