Following Amazon’s runaway success with the Echo smart speaker, many companies jumped on the smart speaker bandwagon. There are countless options available to customers now that want a smart speaker with an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant. If a new report is to be believed, a Roku Amazon Echo rival is in the pipeline as well.

Roku is best known for its streaming video devices. It’s not a company that you would associate with audio products but Roku seems to be willing to change that. Variety reports that Roku has been working on advancing voice control and is also ramping up its audio offers.

Roku has reportedly posted new job offers that show it wants to focus more on audio. Variety has also reviewed other public documents. After compiling all of the information, it’s of the view that Roku is building its very own smart speaker.

Roku has recently posted job offers for audio-centric roles that include a “Sr. Software Engineer, Audio” and a “Sr. Software Engineer, New Products, Audio (Expert).” One can argue that perhaps these job openings are for improving the voice integration in Roku’s existing products.

Some Roku video streaming products do ship with remote controls that have integrated microphones. Some streaming boxes also have optical audio outputs.

However, the audio experts it wants to hire will also be responsible for “voice user interface design,” this is commonly used to refer to screen-less interaction design that relies on voice commands from the user and spoken feedback from the device.

Variety has also spotted that some of Roku’s recent hires have a background in speech recognition.

It’s all circumstantial evidence at this point in time but it won’t be surprising at all if Roku decides to come out with its own smart speaker.

Filed in Gadgets. Read more about roku.

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