For some time now, we have heard that Roku was working on building its own voice assistant. Back in January 2018, at CES it was even shown off but now The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Roku has canceled plans to introduce its own voice assistant that would take on Alexa and Siri.
Update; Roku has reached out to say The Wall Street Journal story was incorrect. Roku is still continuing to develop voice capabilities around the entertainment experience on the Roku platform now called Roku Voice.
Here is the demo of the Roku assistant that was shown off at CES 2018.
Instead of building its own voice assistant, Roku recently added support for Google Assistant and Alexa. This also explains why the TCL soundbar that was going to come with the Roku Assitant was never released with it.
Roku has always tried to be an open platform welcome to all. Now it seems Roku has decided it would be better for Roku to work with Google and Amazon on voice support instead of trying to compete head to head.
Roku has also reportedly been working on a WiFi extender that would help improve weak WiFi to help improve streaming. When looking at the causes of buffering, weak Wi-Fi is typically one of the main causes.
According to Bloomberg, the device is still being developed but Roku has not decided on if they will even sell the device yet. Yet it looks like the device is fairly far along in development. According to the report, the device is only 6 inches tall and 4 inches wide. It will plug into a wall outlet and allow you to extend your current W-iFi network.
For now, we will have to wait and see if and when Roku announces this new WiFi extender.
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