What would happen if Amazon.com, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Echo speaker and Fire TV got together? Well, now we know. It’s called the Fire TV Cube and it’s set to launch June 21.
The device is a cube, 3.4 by 3.4 by 3 inches. But this relatively small size is no limit to the power of the Fire TV Cube. It includes 4K Ultra HD, eight always-listening mics, 16B of memory and Dolby Atmos high-quality sound.
At the heart of the Fire TV Cube is the ability to talk to Alexa to navigate. The Fire TV Cube comes with a remote anyway, as it allows you to connect to your TV using multi-directional IR and CEC sytems. For example, you can say “Alexa, I’m home or “Alexa, watch TV,” and then the Fire TV Cube will launch everything. You can then say something like “Alexa, turn on CNBC” or “Alexa, show me comedies.” The device will start the show where you left off. Oh, and you can also use your voice to change the volume, get a weather update or other news.
Note that the device works with many of the top cable set-top boxes, such as from Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) and AT&T Inc.’s (NYSE:T) DirecTV. Amazon says that about 90% of U.S. households should have access.
Of course, the Fire TV Cube also has access to plenty of apps, such as Prime Video, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), HBO and Showtime.
According to an Amazon press release: “Many of your favorite apps currently support enhanced in-app voice controls on Fire TV, giving you more ways to use your voice while navigating through content, and dozens more are expected by the end of 2018. And with Fire TV Cube, many Alexa responses are optimized for the big screen and accompanied with rich visual information, allowing you to view your smart home camera feeds, watch video flash briefings, view sports scores, see extended weather forecasts, and watch trailers for movies playing in nearby theaters.”
Takeaway on the Fire TV Cube
The pricing is fairly reasonable, as the device will retail for $119.99. And if you want to access a home security camera on your Fire TV Cube, the price tag will be $199.98. This will include a Cloud Cam.
Launched four years ago, the Echo speaker and Fire TV have become big sellers. And the Fire TV Cube is certainly a natural part of the evolution.
Yet the device is not perfect. Keep in mind that the Fire TV Cube does not provide for voice calls or the control of game consoles.
Despite this, the fact is that the device makes for a solid entertainment system. It’s also important to note that with Alexa it will get smarter and smarter because of the power of artificial intelligence (AI).
But for AMZN, the Fire TV Cube has the potential to turn your TV into an e-commerce tool. After all, you can use the Echo speaker to make orders.
Tom Taulli is the author of High-Profit IPO Strategies, All About Commodities and All About Short Selling. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.