Amazon Prime’s photo service is going from visual to verbal. Fire TV users can now ask Alexa to put photos up on their TV. The Prime Photos update, which rolled out August 3, allows users to put photos (and videos) on their TV using just voice commands and the remote control. Amazon Prime Photos on Fire TV can sort photos by date, location or even who — or what — is in the shots.
Prime Photos is an extra perk for Prime Members, backing up photos so a hard drive crash isn’t quite so disastrous. But along with the photo storage, the platform includes tools for sorting and searching through images — and now those same tools make photos accessible with a simple voice command. The feature isn’t entirely hands free — users have to press the microphone button on the remote — but it beats trying to type out a search with only a TV remote.
From the general, Alexa, show me my photos, to the specific Alexa, show photos of Tom, the new tool allows users to not only quickly access but quickly sort and display images. Photos can be displayed by date, album, person, or even by an object or animal, like requesting all your cat photos at once. The more advanced features, including facial recognition, are only available for Prime members.
Since Prime Photos is pre-installed on Fire TV devices, users won’t have to do much to get the feature up and running. Photos are uploaded through mobile devices or desktop computers with the Prime Photos app. The software will automatically recognize faces that appear across multiple photos, but users will have to tell the program who that person is by adding a name inside the app.
Users can also use the feature to play slideshows, filling the TV with photos as a sort of screensaver when not actually tuning into a show. The latest update is also compatible with Prime Photos Family Vault, a feature that allows multiple family members to upload images to the same account.
Along with working on Amazon Fire TV, the new features are also accessible through the company’s new Echo Show.