CES: Roku Expands Into Audio Devices With Home Entertainment Licensing Program

NATION-NOW     Roku aims to expand its cord-cutting kingdom with a Roku voice assistant     
       Roku aims to expand its cord-cutting kingdom

Roku also announced the debut of a new voice assistant, which is created to work across devices, allowing users to bark commands like, "Hey Roku, play jazz in the living room".

Streaming media organization Roku is extending its licensing system to incorporate producers of soundbars and smart speakers, and furthermore plans to dispatch another "Roku Entertainment Assistant", as a major aspect of a developing push to assume control over the amusement involvement in individuals' family rooms.

The company also introduced Roku Entertainment Assistant, a new smart speaker technology that allows customers to use voice commands on supported Roku-enabled devices. Roku didn't say if it will build its own Roku-branded speaker, beyond reference designs it plans to share with other hardware makers. It will show a product from TV partner China's TCL at CES next week, the first to use this system.

Ahead of CES 2018, the company announced plans to put out new home entertainment devices.

-Roku TV, the smart TV platform that is powered by the Roku operating system, will be integrated with Roku Connect and the new Roku Entertainment Assistant (see below for more detail about those programs) by the fall of 2018.

For example, you could say, "Hey Roku, play rock music in the living room" and a connected speaker would do just that, even without having to turn on the television.

Roku states that Roku TVs account for more than 20 percent of every smart TV sold in the US over the first nine months of 2017.

Roku made its mark as a top contender in the streaming video world but now the company is jumping into the digital personal assistant arena with its own version, the Roku Entertainment Assistant. Today, according to the company, its smart TV licensing program is flourishing.

The Roku Entertainment Assistant will be incorporated into soundbars and smart speakers.

"Amazon Prime and Netflix will be very happy to tap into Roku connect voice controls", he told TechNewsWorld. Roku already has a TV licensing agreement with the Philips brand.

One advantage Roku has in its own space is that it already has a voice-operated remote control that could execute simple commands.

Roku will be offering OEMs "Smart Soundbar" and "Smart Speaker" software licenses for a nominal fee while "Roku Connect" is available free to OEMs that meet the necessary hardware and connectivity requirements. People may still query Siri, Alexa or Google's assistant for other services, but call on Roku's assistant when they want to watch or listen to something, he argued.

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