The Home Automation Market Shake-Up: Inside Amazon’s Budget TV Move



Fire TV interface to sit in third-party TV sets

Amazon.com’s (AMZN) deal with affordable television brands to include the Fire TV interface in their products could escalate competition for the control of the smart home market and complicate the picture for Alphabet (GOOGL).

Taking a page from the playbook of streaming media device market leader Roku, Amazon has partnered with low-cost television set brands Element Electronics, Seiki, and Westinghouse Digital to build 4K resolution sets that come equipped with Fire TV streaming software.

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Popularizing Alexa in the home environment

While Amazon’s TV set move may appear to be a response to Roku’s strategy to popularize its streaming software, the company’s main focus seems to be on the home automation market, where it’s already in heavy competition with Alphabet and others.

Amazon already has Echo device in the home automation market, but it needs to popularize its Alexa voice assistant to bolster its chances of dominating the market.

The Fire TV sets built by Element, Seiki, and Westinghouse will include Alexa to enable owners to operate them through voice commands, and that will expand the influence of Amazon’s digital voice assistant.

Making Alexa the standard voice assistant in home products would give Amazon an edge against rivals in home automation market. Alphabet’s Google Home is vying for space in home automation against Amazon’s Echo. Amazon’s TV deal could also bolster its streaming video service, wherein it competes with Netflix (NFLX).

Alphabet responds to Amazon’s TV

In what appears to be a response to Amazon’s television move, Alphabet has also partnered with low-cost TV brands to integrate the Chromecast interface in their products. Alphabet’s other TV partners are Sony (SNE), Samsung (SSNLF), and LG Electronics.


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