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YouView taps Amazon’s Alexa for voice controls

YouView_AlexaYouView is piloting Amazon’s Alexa voice service in a bid to bring voice controls to its connected set-top boxes. 

YouView claims to be one of the first developers worldwide to work with the new Alexa Video Skill API, and said it aims to make it easier for viewers to interact with YouView’s content and apps.

Ultimately, YouView said that it could offer a ‘voice controlled experience’ across all 2.4 million connected YouView set-top boxes – including those provided by operator partners TalkTalk and BT.

YouView said its devices will support Alexa voice control through Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot devices or other Alexa-enabled hardware, and with this integration viewers will be able to search for content and navigate YouView’s user interface using commands like “change the channel to BT Sport 1”.

“We are delighted to be one of the first to work with Amazon to enable a video voice skill via Alexa. It is a great and very natural next step on YouView’s journey, extending the value of our cloud-based ‘next generation’ platform, which we have successfully rolled out to over two million homes,” said Fani Sazaklidou, executive creative and brand director of YouView.

Fabrice Rousseau, general manager, Alexa Skills Kit EU, said: “Voice control of TV will make customers’ lives easier – it’s a natural way to find the content you want, and will reduce the time you spend looking for the remote or finding the right channel. Just ask Alexa, and she’ll take care of it for you.”