Late last week Amazon launched their competition to the Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and the Roku: Amazon FireTV. A lot of huge media companies are battling for the home entertainment ecosystem and Amazon is simply the newest player in the market. The Amazon FireTV costs $99, the same price as the Apple TV and $10 more than the Roku.
Unfortunately, all these home entertainment systems do very similar things, so even the smallest of differentiators is significant in this homogeneous market. Thankfully, the FireTV has a lot going for it in terms of differentiation. First off, although the remote looks almost identical to both those of the Apple TV and the Roku, Amazon has put a microphone in it enabling voice search on the TV. This is quite an innovative feature simply because scrolling through a keyboard on your TV via a remote is a very tedious method of typing. Secondly, since the FireTV runs on Android, Amazon is also marking it as a gaming device by porting games such as Real Racing onto the device.