Roku, the television streaming company, will add new search features to its devices, aimed at making the TV experience an effortless activity. The company will launch a voice search option for its high-end top streamers, just as Apple is preparing its own Siri-based set-top box.
Users will now longer have to rely exclusively on the remote control to navigate through the streamer’s menu, especially now when they tend to become more and more complicated. Roku’s new voice feature gives consumers the possibility to search for a specific TV show, movie or actor simply by using their voice.
Roku has become one of the most popular TV platforms out there for being an unbiased, less sophisticated alternative, compared to the likes of Amazon, Google and Apple, who offer similar services but tend to promote their own content.
Roku’s addition of voice control is not really a breakthrough in the market, since Amazon has been offering the same option to its clients for a year now. But the new feature is surely welcomed.
The voice recognition program offered by Roku is compatible with most of the TV apps available right now, which means consumers will be able to find out if a new TV show episode or a movie is available for free or if they can buy it from, let’s say, HBO Go, or Amazon. The voice recognition is reportedly accurate enough, and the results sorting system comes in handy. For instance, sorting results by price enables users to make sure their favorite program isn’t available for free anywhere before deciding to make a purchase.
The feature is only available on the Roku 3, the company’s high-end streamer, which despite the fact that received a game-changing upgrade will keep its previous price of $99.99. Enabling the function is pretty straightforward: just by pushing the microphone button on the remote, users can make their desire known to the machine. It is the same thing Amazon did with its own streaming device, and it will be interesting to watch if Apple will stick to the same pattern or risk going for innovation instead.
The new Roku machines will keep the rest of their features, like the headphone jack than can be plugged into the remote so one can watch its favorite program with disturbing those around him. The interface has also been optimized to allow users to get news alert-type of notifications to stay in touch with their favorite program. The new feature is called Roku Feed, and this one is available on all of the company’s platforms.
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