Roku’s New Smart Speaker Shows Up In a FCC Filing





Back in January, we learned that Roku was working on a line of smart speakers with a Roku Assistant built in. The first version announced was a sound bar from TCL desinged to work closely with Roku TVs. Now an FCC filing from TCL has popped up at the FCC for a smart speaker with voice assistant.

This is likely the first smart speaker from Roku’s new Roku Connect program and could very well be the Alto soundbar TCL announced back at CES 2018. This new Roku Connect program will allow companies like TCL to build soundbars and smart speakers, surround sound and multi-room audio systems that use Roku Connect software to work together as a home entertainment network. This frees the manufactures of the expensive development and maintance that comes with the software side of hardware.

“We’ve always focused on making it incredibly simple for consumers to find and enjoy streaming entertainment on their TVs, and with an expanded Roku ecosystem, consumers will be able to add great sound to their TVs, and audio around the whole home in a modern way,” said Roku CEO Anthony Wood back at CES 2018. “Consumers will love the benefits of a home entertainment network, such as having more affordable options, adding one device at a time, using their voice, having a simplified set up and Wi-Fi connectivity, and holding just one remote control. And, of course, OEM brands benefit by offering their products in a more appealing way to our already large and engaged audience of millions of active accounts.”

Roku Connect devices working together they will be able to connect wirelessly and be controlled by voice commands and a single remote. In addition, manufacturers will be able to license smart soundbar and smart speaker hardware reference designs along with the Roku operating system, Roku OS for free. Roku even went on to say that “In addition, Roku does not expect licensing revenues, if any, from smart speakers and smart soundbars to be material in the foreseeable future.” From the looks of it, Roku plans to once again make money from digital content vs trying to make the money upfront from the hardware.

According to TCL the Alto sound bar with Roku Assitant built in is targeted for a Fall 2018 release.

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