Amazon's Fire TV Stick adds remote control with Alexa

Voice-controlled assistant can search channels and use Alexa skills.

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Watching TV with Alexa.

Image: Amazon

Amazon has updated its Fire TV Stick for the UK, adding a remote control that can be used to access the company's Alexa digital assistant.

To accommodate the Alexa service, Amazon has updated the interface for its video streaming device and added a quad-core processor and the remote control. The revamped device launched in the US in October last year.

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Amazon said users can access of over 7,000 channels, apps, and Alexa skills, plus live TV and popular services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and Prime Video and Amazon Video. The FireTV Stick streams video at 1080p resolution, at 30fps (frames per second).

Alexa is Amazon's cloud-based voice-controlled digital assistant, found in its Echo smart speaker and other devices. Using the remote control, users can search channels, control playback, or ask for news and weather, check their commute or use other Alexa 'skills' to order an Uber or takeaway food, for example.

Amazon is trying to rapidly capitalise on the momentum behind its Alexa service, adding more services and hardware support as it aims to become one of the main ways of communicating with digital home devices. The Alexa service is being integrated with devices ranging from washing machines to smart door locks and vehicles. Last week it added support for Outlook calendars.

In related news, smart home company Netatmo also said its Personal Weather Station will now work with the Alexa service. You can, for example, say: "Alexa, ask Netatmo how windy it is outside."

The Fire TV Stick sells for £39.99 in the UK (it costs $39.99 in the US) and is available from 6 April.

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