Amazon announced today it's bringing Alexa Routines -- the feature that allows users to create their own Alexa shortcuts that combine multiple actions -- to its Fire TV platform. Starting today, Amazon customers will be able to include Fire TV commands in their Alexa routines, including those that power on or off the TV, open a Fire TV app, or play, pause, or resume content on the Fire TV.
For example, you could create an Alexa Routine for movie night that would pause the program and turn on the lights for your snack break, and another to again dim the lights and resume the movie when you return. Or you could incorporate Fire TV into your bedtime routine, by powering off the TV while also dimming the lights and turning on your morning alarm. This could be useful for those who like to wind down at night by falling asleep to their TV.
You can configure your own voice commands for these custom routines, too, like, "Alexa, I'm getting a snack," or "Alexa, I'm back," for example.
Amazon says these two use cases would address activities that, according to a Morning Consult survey it commissioned, are already common in the U.S. The survey found that 75% of U.S. consumers pause their TV show or movie at least once per night to grab a snack or a drink, and 32% said they fall asleep watching movies and TV shows more in 2020 compared with last year.
Plus, if you create a Routine you think others may find useful, you can share it with friends and family via the sharable URLs Amazon introduced in September.
These new "Entertainment Routines" are launching today across all Fire TV devices including Fire TV Edition smart TVs and Fire TV Cube. However, if you’re using a Fire TV Stick, you need a TV that supports Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) to use powering on and off your TV as Routine actions.
The feature will be globally available, Amazon says.