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December 6, 2018

Fire TV Cube gains a one-way intercom feature called ‘Alexa Announcements’

Fire TV Cube owners can now use their media streaming device to broadcast announcements around the home, similar to a one-way intercom. Amazon says it’s launching a feature called “Alexa Announcements,” which allows customers to speak to Alexa on the Fire TV Cube, then have their message announced in their own voice to all other Alexa-enabled devices in their household.

For example, you could announce that “the movie is about to start,” or say “Alexa, tell everyone that dinner is ready,” and have the message sent to your Echo devices or other compatible Alexa-enabled devices registered to your Amazon account.

To issue your broadcast, you preface it by saying either “Alexa, announce…,” “Alexa tell everyone…,” or “Alexa broadcast…”, Amazon notes.

In addition to being able to send out announcements yourself, the Fire TV Cube starting this month will also support announcements that are broadcast from select smart home devices — specifically, those where the doorbell is ringing or motion is detected.

In this case, Alexa will announce things like “motion detected at the front door” or “someone is at the front door,” and you can respond by saying “Alexa, show me the front door” to see your camera feed displayed on your TV.

You can customize which smart home announcements you’d like to see through the new Alexa Announcements section in the Alexa app.

Alexa Announcements was previously supported on Echo devices including screen-based devices like the Echo Spot and Show, but this adds Fire TV Cube to the list of supported devices. Amazon didn’t say when other Fire TV devices may be supported, too.

But this would not be the first time the Fire TV Cube has been updated with a feature its other media players don’t have. In October, the Fire TV Cube was updated with a feature that allows you to use Alexa to navigate inside apps like Netflix and Hulu, which is especially helpful for accessibility purposes.

The Alexa Announcements feature is rolling out now to all Fire TV Cube customers in the U.S.


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