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Roku just unveiled an entertainment-focused rival to Siri and Alexa

Roku has revealed plans to create a virtual assistant to control a suite of wireless connected entertainment devices.

The Roku Entertainment Assistant will form part of Roku Connect, a platform being developed by the company that allows smart speakers, soundbars and other entertainment devices to be connected together wirelessly to form a kind of interconnected home entertainment platform.

With such a platform in place and the Roku Entertainment Assistant on call, Roku has plans to enable all these devices to be controlled through voice commands.

But Roku won’t be making such devices itself. Instead it will license out the Roku Connect software and hardware reference points to third-party companies to allow them to build devices that work with the entertainment platform and virtual assistant.

Roku already offers voice searching with its TV streaming devices, but with a virtual assistant it wants to build upon that, allowing users to, for example, request that a certain type of music is played in a specific room in the house all through a voice command.

While the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and the Google Assistant offer such smart capabilities though the Amazon Echo and Google Home Mini respectively, Roku won’t butt heads with the tech giants as it plans to keep its virtual assistant entertainment-focused.

That means the Roku Entertainment Assistant won’t be able to order pizzas and taxis from simple voice commands, but it could instead offer a more comprehensive smart home entertainment service.

Given Roku has pretty much gone as far as it currently can with its streaming devices buy supporting 4K and HDR, it makes sense for the company to try and make inroads into the smart home audio world, particularly as many of the services currently on offer tend to be proprietary systems that don’t play nice with gadgets and devices from other manufacturers.

According to Roku more will be revealed at CES so keep tuned in to Trusted Reviews for more.

Related: Best streaming services for 2018

Does the idea of interconnected entertainment devices appeal to you, or does it risk complicating finely-tuned setups? Let us know on our Facebook page or tweet @TrustedReviews.

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