Have an Amazon Fire TV with a Voice Remote? Then you can already find and play some videos by talking into the mic. But soon you may be able to play more videos that way… and not just by using a Fire TV and/or Voice Remote.
Amazon has launched a new Video Skill API that lets developers tap into the Alexa Voice service in a way that lets users access a video without first specifying the content provider or the device they want to use.
Here’s the idea: Alexa will already know which devices you have and which services you subscribe to. So all you need to do is say “Alexa, play <name of movie or TV show>” and Alexa will either start playing the video or walk you through the steps needed to enable any Alexa Skill you may need that’s not already active.
If a developer doesn’t make use of the new Voice Skill API, then you don’t get those instructions. You’d have to have the skill enabled before Alexa would know what to do.
Among other things, the new API also means you’ll be able to talk to an Amazon Echo or other Alexa-enabled speaker, tablet, or phone to play a video on any TV or TV box that has an Amazon Video app. That could include an Amazon Fire TV, but also a Roku, TiVo, select smart TVs, or eventually even an Apple TV.