The BT-owned operator has introduced a skill for Amazon Alexa that allows customers to ask for information on what’s on, or to record their favourite shows.
The information is drawn from the same source that supplies Freeview Picks. Users can also ask about shows on any Freeview channel for either now or the following day.
Max Taylor, Managing Director of Marketing, EE said: “We’re continually looking for ways to further enhance the accessibility and usability of EE TV – so we’re pleased to work with Amazon to launch the first Alexa skill on a set top box in the UK. The new skill will allow users to discover new content and help to enrich their TV experience, so they can make the most out of it.”
Earlier this year, YouView, in which BT is a signifcant shareholder, announced its own plans to run a pilot scheme around Amazon Alexa.
“Alexa integration with EE TV creates a truly hands-free TV experience,” said Fabrice Rousseau, General Manager, Alexa Skills Kit EU. “Customers can now ask Alexa to find things to watch and record the shows they want—no remote required. This is much more natural, and an experience that will get even better in future.”
The EE TV skill for Alexa is the first in a number of commands being reviewed for the EE TV platform. This includes reviewing Amazon’s Alexa Video Skill APIs for integration with the service.
“EE continues to push the boundaries with its TV service. Given the fragmented nature of TV services today, we believe that voice will play a pivotal role in finding the programmes consumers want to watch. More importantly the support for Amazon Alexa goes one step further than Sky Q in supporting additional voice features,” commented Paolo Pescatore, Vice President, Multiplay and Media, CCS Insight. “Credit should go to its partner Netgem for further differentiating EE TV over rivals. This latest move clearly underlines the importance of software in enhancing a TV service.”
In the United States, Dish TV added an Alexa skill in May. It’s integration allows customers to change channel, by name or number, and search for individual content.