Alexa Adds Samuel L. Jackson Trivia and Streamlines Fire TV Content Access
Amazon has announced a couple of new Alexa features it had quietly rolled out over the last few weeks. Though a shortcut voice command and trivia game are not earthshaking individually, they both represent some key trends for the voice assistant that point to bigger strategic ambitions by Amazon, or at least an undying love for Samuel L. Jackson.
Show Me Fire
Asking Alexa on Fire TVs to “show me my stuff” will now pull up everything previously filed under the “library tab” to the smart TV’s screen. Saved video content, watch lists and virtual audio and video libraries will all appear in response to the new voice command. The update is a subtle streamlining of the Fire TV interface, but it’s also a shift to more casual language, the kind of informal conversational style that Amazon has encouraged people to use when interacting with Alexa, while also boasting of the AI’s capability for responding appropriately. It also builds on the way Amazon has increasingly centered Alexa and voice control within the Fire TV operating system. For instance, Amazon added an integrated channel guide voice command back in February, not to mention the redesigned Fire remote and Fire TVs with far-field microphones so users can awaken Alexa like the TV is an Echo Show smart display.
“These enhancements to the navigation experience provide a streamlined look and feel, making it easier for customers to find the content they want faster,” Amazon explained in a blog post.
The other notable Alexa update adds a new facet to the Samuel L. Jackson voice option for Alexa in the form of a free (for now) trivia game. Alexa’s first celebrity voice will ask multiple-choice questions about his life and his acting work. Getting Jackson and his unique wake word for more conversation still costs $5 for either the PG or R-rated form. So far, Amazon hasn’t made equivalent trivia games for Jackson’s fellow celebrity voices Shaquille O’Neal and Melissa McCarthy, but that might just be a matter of designing the questions and getting Shaq into the recording booth Amazon built for him at his home.