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Roku could be hopping on the Amazon Echo train

A Variety report suggests the streaming device maker, which has filed for an IPO, could be working on its own smart speaker.

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Streaming device maker Roku might be working on its own smart speaker.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Streaming device maker Roku could have an Amazon Echo-type smart speaker in the works, a Variety report published Monday suggests.

Meanwhile, Los Gatos, California-based Roku is looking to raise as much as $220 million when it goes public next month, according to an SEC filing Monday.

Roku declined to confirm or comment on the Variety report, which is based on new job postings at Roku and other public records. 

But if true, Roku would be just the latest to join the smart speaker craze sparked by Amazon's Echo and followed by Google Home and Apple's HomePod. The always-listening speakers play music, answer questions and control your smart home.

Samsung is also reportedly working on its own smart speaker.

Roku makes highly-reviewed video streaming devices that are popular among TV cord-cutters. It says it has more than 15 million active accounts in the US. 

Variety says Roku has been working on advancing voice control while also ramping up audio efforts. It cites a bunch of clues as evidence for the possibility of a smart speaker in the works, such as job postings for "audio-centric" roles and recent hires of experts in the field.

Many tech companies now expect smart speakers --  not phones -- to become the hubs that power your future smart home. The devices are expected to surge in popularity, with global sales reaching 15 million units by 2020, up from just 1.8 million last year, according to Strategy Analytics.

As it gets ready for an IPO, investors might want some assurance that Roku is well aware of the trend.

First published Sept. 18, 1:02 p.m. PT.
Update, 1:37 p.m. PT: Adds Roku declining to comment.

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