Amazon Fire TV Cube blends new with old

Amazon launches Echo Look in U.S., could popularize computer vision via Alexa

Amazon’s new smart speaker is a TV streaming box, and vice versa

Now, the two products are converging in a way they haven't before, in the form of the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Amazon's Fire TV Cube, it combines Echo, streaming box, and universal remote into one device for easy access and usage.

Far-field voice recognition paired with beamforming tech means that you can use Alexa to control your devices from across the room, even if the Fire TV Cube is sitting near your TV's speakers.

The Fire TV Cube is built nearly like an Echo, which means it includes eight far-field microphones so you can talk to it directly without needing a remote and it can hear you even over the sound of the television.

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"It's a new paradigm for how you control your TV", says Jen Prenner, Amazon's global head of marketing for Fire TV.

The Fire TV Cube goes up for pre-order today and begins shipping out June 21. If you're a Prime customer who pre-orders the device on today or tomorrow, Amazon is offering a $30 savings, bringing the price down to $90. Advanced beamforming technology combines the signals from the individual microphones to suppress noise, reverberation, content now playing, and even competing speech to make sure Alexa clearly hears your request, even next to your TV.

Users can also pre-order the Fire TV Cube and Amazon Cloud Cam for $199.98, which is a $40 savings.

The Fire TV Cube is really optimized for the latest 4K TVs, but not all the latest 4K TVs. This includes being able to use your voice to control streaming apps like Hulu and PlayStation Vue as well as HBO, SHOWTIME, and STARZ through Amazon Channels.

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According to Amazon, the Fire TV Cube comes with HDMI CEC, a technology that will give you control over compatible televisions, sound bars, and even cable boxes.

About the UI of the box, Amazon says that it works to deliver "content forward" with actions and operations surrounding the wirelessness of the Fire TV Cube. Many Alexa apps are now optimised for big screens, so rich visual information will be a quick command away - quickly accessing your smart home camera feeds, video briefings, sports scores, weather forecasts, trailers for movies playing locally, and so on.

It pairs with Amazon Echo devices as well as with Fire Stick and has an interesting feature.

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