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Roku smart speakers are comingThe company is partnering with manufacturers to build a new line of speakers and soundbars along with a new Roku voice assistant.
Roku is getting into the speaker business. The company announced a new licensing program where it will partner with manufacturers to build speakers and sound bars. The first partner to be announced is TCL. They make a number of Roku TVs. The new non-TV Roku device will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show. Other partners were not named yet. Roku's program has two parts. One is called Roku Connect. This will allow devices to work together, so think about having a Roku soundbar connect to a Roku television. Roku Connect will also allow for multi-room audio like the Sonos. The second part is the Roku entertainment assistant. It's a voice assistant like Google assistant or Amazon Alexa. However, as the name implies, the Roku entertainment assistant will focus on home entertainment. Both Roku Connect and the assistant are coming to existing Roku devices in a free software upgrade. The first Roku speakers are expected to ship in the fall with the software updates. Roku says that these future speakers could include other digital assistants, but that is up to each manufacturer. Does the world need yet another assistant? Let us know. I'm [UNKNOWN] and I'll see you online.