The digital brain of Amazon is growing out of their home network. Recently, Dish Network and Lenovo announced Alexa powered and supported devices at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Lenovo debuted their own voice-activated speaker named Smart Assistant, which is powered by Alexa. The speaker from Lenovo looks like a cross between Google Home and Amazon Echo, and the speakers are available in light green, gray, or orange colors. Lenovo said that the speaker has eight far filed microphones when compared to Echo that has only seven microphones. These speakers will be able to hear you from a distance.
Dish Network, on the other hand, said that they are the first television provider to offer devices that are fully compatible with Alexa. Customers can pair Hopper DVR with speakers that are powered by Alexa like the Amazon Echo and control the device using voice.
It is reported that fruits of the new partnership between Dish Network and Amazon will debut in the first half of the year and users will be able to make use of voice search function to find and play programs by mid-2017. Besides that, search on the device can also be performed based on title, channel, genre, and actor.
In 2015, Amazon opened Alexa to developers. This was done to encourage developers to build skills for Echo and other devices that are powered by Alexa. As a result, developers have made and posted more than 5,400 skills that can be executed by Alexa. Developers who like to add to the abilities of Alexa can write code that is capable of working with Alexa in the cloud.
Dish reports that users can just ask Alexa voice assistant to tune your television to your favorite show. This feature will be introduced to the Hopper DVR lineup from Dish Network. It is expected that all of the broadband connected DVRs of Dish Network will have deep integration with the popular voice interface of Amazon by the middle of 2017. It is expected that the users will be able to ask Alexa to tune to specific channels and to do basic navigation through the Dish Network channel guide.
The timing of the smart home capabilities from Dish Network is in line with another upcoming enhancement from Dish Network, multi-room music. It is reported that together with Amazon Music, users can expect to stream music through Pandora and iHeartRadio in more than one room at the same time making use of the Dish Hopper box.