There are no prizes for guessing what TCL’s new Roku Smart Soundbar does

Roku has unveiled a smart sound bar designed to play nicely with the company’s TV tech and respond to voice commands.

Created by TCL, the largest distributor of Roku TV sticks in the US, the TCL Roku Smart Soundbar was revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 at Las Vegas and is slated to be available late 2018.

The soundbar is the first gadget out of the blocks to fit into Roku Connect, Roku’s recently revealed platform for tying entertainment tech, like TV streaming boxes, speakers and other devices together.

It’s also the first device that will have the Roku Entertainment Assistant built into it, which allows the soundbar to be controlled through voice commands.

“The TCL Roku Smart Soundbar will be able to turn on a TCL Roku TV when asked to launch video content or stream audio even when the TV is turned off. Consumers will be able to use their voice to play, pause and resume music and audio without picking up a remote control or pushing a button,” explained Roku.

There’s already a lot of entertainment tech offering some form of voice control or compatibility with virtual assistants; Samsung’s latest TVs for example work with its Bixby assistant found in its flagship phones and LG’s new TVs revealed at CES come packing support of Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant.

And devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home Mini offer smart speakers that also act as voice-controlled hubs for compatible smart home gadgets.

But Roku is focusing squarely on entertainment, so if more hardware partners get on board Roku Connect it could end up as a platform that offers slick unified voice control and integration for all manner of smart entertainment tech.

Related: CES 2018 highlights

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