which makes devices for streaming internet video on
television sets, announced Wednesday that it plans to
develop a voice assistant and let manufacturers create
Roku-connected speakers, stepping up its competition
with Apple, Google and Amazon.com.
of Roku TVs and players will get the voice-powered Roku
Entertainment Assistant free in a fall software update,
the company said. The assistant will enable users to use
voice commands to play music, TV shows and movies on
voice-supported Roku devices.
also envisions being at the center of a home
entertainment network with which people can easily
connect a smart soundbar, add speakers in different
rooms and control them with voice commands.
Rokuís licensing program, third-party companies can
make soundbars, smart speakers and audio systems that
use Roku Connect software, which enables users to
connect those elements wirelessly and control them with
voice commands or a single remote control. Equipment
makers also will be able to license smart soundbar and
speaker hardware reference designs, as well as the Roku
operating system, Roku said.
real-life tale to onscreen laughs, "The Big
Sick" is a screenwriting triumph. This underdog
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said TCL, its lead manufacturing partner, will announce
a device under the licensing program Monday.
Amazon and Apple offer streaming-video boxes that
connect with their respective voice assistants, but Roku
has hung on to a large wedge of market share.
captures about 23 percent of connected-TV users,
according to an October report from research firm
eMarketer. About 38.9 million people in the U.S. are
estimated to use a Roku device once a month, compared
with 36.9 million people using Google Chromecast, 35.8
million people using Amazon Fire TV and 21.3 million
using Apple TV