In brief: Amazon wants to integrate its Fire TV Edition experience into more devices like soundbars and car infotainment systems, as part of its plan to be at the center of your entertainment setup. The company will show off some of these devices at CES 2020, with soundbars from TCL and cars from Chrysler and BMW.
As we inch closer to CES 2020, Amazon is spilling the beans on one of its next big ambitions. By now it's no secret the company wants to be in every modern home to govern the smart things in our lives, but it also wants inside as many cars as possible.
The idea of baking a smart TV OS into a soundbar took off with the Anker Nebula in September 2019. The $230 device is capable of 4K streaming with Dolby Vision without the need for a set-top box and comes with an Alexa-enabled remote.
Amazon has been working with TV manufacturers to get Fire TV Edition on them, but now it's more interested in showing off new soundbars from TCL — the Alto 8+ and TS8011 — that are powered by the same software. The first is available in Canada and the US, and the other will be coming soon to most countries in Western Europe.
The company is also planning to enhance Fire TV with support for Dolby Atmos, HDMI switching, remote device control similar to Fire TV Cube, and far-field microphones for Alexa interactions.
Users will soon be able to use a soundbar to do the switching between your gaming console, Blu-Ray player, and every other device that you might want to plug into your smart TV. Amazon is essentially fighting to be the central hub for your home entertainment system through Fire TV.
Amazon says it will also push Fire TV Edition into car infotainment systems, starting with vehicles from Fiat, Chrysler, and BMW. Later this year, you'll also be able to do things like ask Alexa to pay for gas at 11,500 Exxon and Mobil stations in the US using Amazon Pay.