Fire TV devices will get improved hands-free features with Alexa

Amazon is introducing new hands-free features using Alexa voice controls for some Fire TV devices.

The company said it’s enabling “Echo Show-like experiences” on connected TVs, where it said Alexa will display visual responses when asked to view calendar, smart home cameras, weather updates and to-do lists.

Amazon also said it has improved search and navigation and will now allow users to ask Alexa to search content, navigate search results or jump to places like the watch list. A Fire TV device paired with an Alexa-enabled device will support commands including “Alexa, go back,” “Alexa, scroll right/left,” or “Alexa, go to my Watch List.”

Amazon says you’ll be able pair most Echo devices with your Fire TVs automatically. You just have to request that the play something on your TV, then confirm the pairing with your Fire TV. It’s a bit more complicated for Echo Show and Spots, though, since they have screens of their own. While you can pair them with your Fire TVs, you can only use them to request content. The new “show me” command and on-screen navigation won’t work — likely because they’ll have a tough time differentiating between their onboard screens and your TV.

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