There have been rumors that Roku was going to launch its own smart speakers, given that’s the current trend among various OEMs. But apparently, there wasn’t any truth to that and instead, they have announced a new licensing program to offer other brands to make smart home entertainment devices that will be able to work with their Roku OS. They have also officially unveiled their very own Roku Entertainment Assistant, or their version of Google Assistant and Alexa, a voice-controlled tech to verbally control Roku OS devices.
The new licensing program will enable OEMs to create audio products that can be used with Roku devices. They’ve actually done this previously for their Roku Smart TVs before, but now it encompasses soundbars and smart speaker hardware references design that can be used with Roku OS and can be connected through the Roku Connect software, creating a multi-room speaker set-up with surround sound audio.
That’s where the Roku Entertainment Assistant will also come in eventually. You will be able to control this whole-home audio setup through one remote and of course through voice commands. Even though they announced the voice assistant already, it is still currently in development and they are planning to roll it out by Fall 2018. Owners of supported devices will be able to use “Hey Roku” or whatever hotword they come up with to control the system.
TCL, which produced the Roku Smart TVs is set to announce the first device that will be under the licensing program. Let’s see if other OEMs will follow suit.
January 3, 2018 at 09:01PM