Gadgets for humans

Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick finally invites Alexa to the party


Alexa gets around a lot these days – from the Amazon Echo, to the Raspberry Pi. She’s even made her way to the UK and Germany. And now, the voice assistant is found on Amazon’s alluring new Fire TV Stick, available now for $39.99.

The latest iteration of the Fire TV stick comes with the usual upgrades. It now supports the latest-and-greatest 802.11ac MIMO Wi-Fi standard. In theory, this means that those with the right network hardware will get faster download speeds. This is vital if you’re going to be downloading a lot of high-definition content.

It also packs a faster 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, backed up with Mali-450 graphics. Amazon says that this will be able to support HEVC streams.

Other specs are more humdrum. It comes with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.1, and the usual HDMI and micro USB ports.

Of course, the Fire TV Stick’s standout feature is the voice remote, which packs Alexa support.

This comes with the same Alexa tasks you’d get on the Echo, with some Fire TV-specific ones for good measure. You can now open apps (“launch Hulu”) and discover content (“find suspense thrillers”) just by speaking to your TV.

You can pre-order the new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote starting from today. Amazon expects to start shipping devices to customers on October 20. Eligible customers who purchase their stick online, or from an eligible retailer, will earn themselves a free content bundle. This comes with one month of Sling TV and two months of Hulu and a $10 credit for Amazon Video.

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Published September 28, 2016 — 14:59 UTC