DISH Network recently announced a series of improved features that work specifically with Amazon’s Alexa technology.
Currently, DISH customers can use Alexa-powered Echo devices to tell their Hopper set-top boxes to play or pause content. However, the latest update will now allow Alexa-using DISH customers to set recordings, launch apps and even navigate menus. For example, an Alexa user could tell their device “Alexa, launch Netflix” to launch the popular streaming app without having to touch a remote.
Niraj Desai, DISH vice president of product management, spoke with Rapid TV News about these new features, saying that “We are working to create the best hands-free TV options for our customers, and these new voice capabilities are an important step in that direction…DISH customers already love the convenience that our Alexa compatibility brings to their home, so we’re continuously identifying popular voice commands to enhance that experience.”.
DISH has long been interested in working with Amazon. In fact, it’s worth noting that DISH became the first pay-TV subscriber to provide direct compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa devices.
This latest Alexa integration is only fueling recent rumours that DISH Network and Amazon are considering a partnership to enter the wireless business. It is no secret that DISH is one of the largest holders of spectrum, which can be used to run the next-generation wireless technology. Of course, DISH would need a large cash influx to get the proper infrastructure in place to create a wireless network, something that Amazon has plenty of. A partnership between these companies would be huge news for the wireless space.