Amazon’s Alexa assistant looks to smarten up select 2018 Hisense TVs

How do you make a smart TV smarter? By putting an AI assistant in it, of course. And that’s exactly what Hisense has done with its best 4K TVs for 2018.

Throughout 2017 we saw numerous smart TVs launch with AI assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as updates rolled out to previous models to add support for such features, enhancing them beyond just feature-rich TVs to become central parts of smart home setups.

Unsurprisingly, all signs point to the trend becoming more ubiquitous in 2018. Ahead of CES 2018, Hisense has announced a partnership with Amazon to bring Alexa to select Hisense 4K smart TV models in 2018, including the 100-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart Laser projection TV. Just which of the brand’s more affordable models will be getting Alexa has yet to be revealed, but we expect to find out all those details at CES 2018, which officially commences Tuesday, January 9.

We expect the TVs Hisense will be showcasing at CES to feature the new functionality prominently.

“While content providers and other TV manufacturers tend to focus on quantity of content, Hisense recognizes that the future is all about simplicity, making it easy for consumers to find and watch their favorite content, play music, control their smart home and more,” Hisense U.S.A. vice president of marketing Mark Viken said in a press release.

As with other TV models that feature the AI assistant, users will have access to Alexa’s full suite of features — or “skills” — including voice using voice commands to do everything from turning the TV on and off, to switching inputs, adjusting volume, and performing voice searches, all of which will be available out of the box on supported TVs. As with other Alexa-enabled devices, users can play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and more, and even do some online shopping just by asking Alexa to order products from Amazon.

Speaking of other Alexa devices, users will also be able to integrate their Alexa-enabled Hisense smart TVs into their smart home ecosystems, giving them control over everything from the lights and air conditioning, to opening or closing the blinds, among other handy skills. This bolsters Hisense’s presence in the smart home market, as these TVs will pair nicely with the company’s previously announced HiSmart AC and HiSmart Dehumidifier devices, both of which also support Alexa.

Hisense’s 2018 TV plans don’t stop with Alexa, either. The company has also announced a remote control and new mobile app for 2018 which will both feature voice control technology.