Amazon Fire TV Expand Hands-Free Features via Paired Alexa Devices

Yolanda Curtis
October 25, 2020

The main feature is that people would be able to turn the TV into something more like the Echo Show smart speaker as they would be able to ask it to show the calendar, weather and the feed from a compatible internet-connected camera.

Amazon had introduced the ability to pair Alexa-enabled devices with Fire TVs a few years ago, that lets you perform functions like open apps, play movies, search for content, and control playback.

Music playback also works this way, effectively turning your Fire TV-connected television into a speaker for any music you request from Alexa - just keep in mind to say "show me" to have the music play through your TV instead of the Echo speaker. The new features will work with any paired Alexa devices, with the exception of Echo Show and Echo Spot.

You've been able to pair your Echo smart speaker with a Fire TV device for a while now, allowing you to speak to Amazon's digital assistant to command your Fire TV viewing. That's something that you could do by pressing voice control key on the Fire TV remote earlier, but now it's going to be all the more easy due to the hands-free feature.

This is a smart move from Amazon, adding new functionality to Fire TV devices, and controlling it all with Alexa instead of the regular remote. You can also use voice commands to navigate through on-screen menus and make selections too. Say you have an Echo speaker in the same room as a television with a Fire TV device plugged into its HDMI port. Once this feature has rolled out, you'll be able to ask Alexa to do things like search for genres, play a trailer, and open your watchlist.

The Fire TV Cube, which is not available in India yet, is the only one of Amazon's streaming boxes that has far-field mics to handle hands-free voice controls that are built into the device.

Think along the lines of "Alexa, go back", "Alexa, scroll right/left", or "Alexa, go to my Watch List".

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