Android TV-powered Sony 4K HDR BRAVIA TV models are now receiving support for Amazon's artificial intelligence assistant Alexa, the Japanese tech giant announced on Friday. All eligible devices from the company will be updated with the new feature by the end of the month, with the functionality itself presently being limited to units sold in the United States and the United Kingdom, presumably due to the limited overlap between the availability of Sony's BRAVIA TVs and Amazon's Alexa-enabled devices. Support for the digital companion is being distributed as a regular over-the-air update which is rolled out in stages, so it may take up to several weeks for your model to receive the newly announced feature.
As expected, by integrating its TV offerings into the Alexa ecosystem, Sony is allowing its customers to control their devices by issuing voice commands to Amazon's AI service. Everything from changing channels and controlling volume to pausing or resuming playback and turning one's TV on or off is part of the package that's presently being distributed to Sony's devices, the company said. The feature itself spans all Alexa-enabled smart speakers from Amazon and should theoretically work with third-party devices capable of summoning Amazon's assistant, though such offerings weren't explicitly mentioned by either Sony or Amazon. The Japanese original equipment manufacturer described the latest development as yet another step in its efforts to ennoble the end-user experience of its BRAVIA TVs, adding that Alexa will make these devices even more versatile and convenient.
Only Sony-made TVs released in the last two years are set to receive the update with Alexa support in the coming weeks. The 2016 models eligible for the software upgrade are those from the XD70, XD75, XD80, SD80, XD83, and ZD9 lineups. Likewise, only XE80, XE83, XE85, XE90, XE93, XE94, and A1 product families released this year will be able to take advantage of the new functionality later this month. Some of Sony's future TVs will presumably boast Alexa support out of the box, with the company possibly unveiling first such devices at the next iteration of Consumer Electronics Show scheduled to start in mid-January.