Amazon on Thursday announced a new Video Skill API for Alexa that will connect the virtual assistant with your TV.
In the future, TV manufacturers can teach Alexa to “interface” with their content and services. This will make TV services accessible through Alexa voice dictation. The feature will work by asking Alexa specific questions like “Alexa, play Manchester by the Sea” or “Alexa, play horror movies.” You won’t need to specify the service it’s on. Alexa will know which services the customer is subscribed to and play the content accordingly.
If supported by TV providers and services, Alexa would be able to control every service you have. Alexa would be able to search shows, switch through channels or control playback through voice commands. It’s a nifty new upgrade to Alexa that rounds out its feature set.
But don’t get too excited just yet, because developers need to support it first. You won’t be able to control Netflix or HBO Now right away. Right now, the only services that have taken advantage of the Video Skill API is Dish, NetGem and YouView. Amazon did reveal it’s already working with other TV providers to expand the skill to more services, but couldn’t get into specifics about which ones.
Developers can take advantage of the new Video Skill API now.