Alexa is coming to Sony smart TVs

Amazon's new software lets other companies integrate Alexa with their products.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Dara Kerr
Ben Fox Rubin
2 min read
Amazon Spheres

The spheres at Amazon's headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Soon you'll be able to have a conversation with your TV.

Amazon said Thursday that Sony is integrating the e-tailer's Alexa voice assistant with its smart televisions. The e-commerce giant unveiled the partnership at an event at its Seattle headquarters. The integration is possible because of Amazon's new Alexa Smart Screen Device software developers kit, which that lets other companies connect the virtual assistant to screen-based products.

Sony is using the SDK to integrate Alexa with their Alexa-compatible smart televisions, Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices, said Thursday.  The new feature will let customers get visual responses on their TVs for music and their security camera feeds when talking to their Echo smart speakers. Lenovo has been running a beta test for several months in its Lenovo Smart Tabs, new line of Android tablets that can be used as smart screens with Alexa built-in.

Amazon has pushed hard on Alexa since launching the Echo smart speaker in 2014. The device has been a homegrown hit for the company and helped usher in a new era of voice computing. Now, Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft are building up their own voice assistants and integrating them into more devices as they race to catch up to Amazon. To stay one step ahead, Amazon aggressively expanded its line of Echo devices, pushed Alexa into hospitality and office spaces, and integrated Alexa with over 20,000 kinds of devices.

As of Thursday morning, Amazon had 11 Alexa-powered gadgets: the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Spot, Echo Dot Kids Edition, Echo Look, Fire TV Cube, Amazon Tap, Echo Connect and Echo Buttons.

The e-tailer unveiled refreshes of many of these products on Thursday. It also introduced several new devices, including a smart wall clock and smart microwave. 

Amazon Echo event live blog: Catch all the latest news, pictures and updates from CNET.

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