Sony TVs and Harmony remotes get Alexa voice control

Alexa’s Smart Home Skill API begins to pay dividends

by hodg100 Nov 16, 2017 at 7:18 AM

  • Amazon has added to the capabilities of voice assistant for smart home entertainment.
    Customers in the UK are now able to use new and enhanced entertainment capabilities delivered by Alexa’s Smart Home Skill API (Application Programming Interface) – including the ability to control AV devices (such as televisions) without needing to invoke a specific skill.

    With enhanced entertainment capabilities in the Alexa Smart Home API, you can control your devices using simple voice commands such as:

    ● “Alexa, turn on the TV”
    ● “Alexa, change the channel to BBC One HD”
    ● “Alexa, fast forward”
    ● “Alexa, make it louder”
    ● “Alexa, switch input to Blu-ray”

    Developers and hardware manufacturers can utilise these APIs to create skills that connect devices directly to the entertainment capabilities of Alexa. Sony and Logitech have already created Alexa skills that leverage these new capabilities on their TVs and hubs, allowing their customers to control their devices through voice.

    Sony has enabled its 4K HDR Android TVs, so customers can use Alexa to power their TVs on or off, adjust the volume, switch inputs, and control content using Play, Pause, Rewind, and Fast Forward. Customers can also change channels via Alexa, by connecting their set-top box to the TV, and controlling functions of other devices connected to the TV using HDMI-CEC.

    This is a great example of Sony’s commitment to delivering a wide range of innovative technologies to our customers.” said Mike Somerset, TV Marketing Manager, Sony UK. “Through our award winning BRAVIA range with the Android platform we are able to offer compatibility to consumers who have an Alexa-enabled device in their home to use their devices to interact with the home entertainment experiences made possible by Sony BRAVIA.”

    Logitech Harmony is introducing its new Alexa Smart Home skill to leverage Amazon’s new entertainment controls. This provides customers with greater control over entertainment devices by supporting more natural language to play, pause, skip forward, change the channel, or control volume. Customers can use Alexa and Harmony to control their TV, favourite media players, and speakers for a hands-free entertainment experience.

    The beauty of our newly-enhanced skill is how much more simple it is to control your favourite living room entertainment,” said Rory Dooley, Head of Logitech Smart Home. “This latest collaboration with Amazon is a great example of how we continually upgrade our products to ensure they deliver the best experience possible, wherever you are in the world.”

    There is more information on the enhanced entertainment capabilities in Alexa’s Smart Home Skill API on the Alexa Developer Blog:

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