Roku appears to be testing a new remote with voice controls and a rechargeable battery, which would be an upgrade over the standard AA batteries current Roku remotes require.
According to a post on Reddit, Roku is giving members of its Early Access Program a chance to test out the new remote – named Voice Remote Pro – and provide feedback. The remote is listed at $29.99 and an expected ship date of Feb. 19. It’s unclear when the remote would be available to consumers if the company decides to make it publicly available.
“We’re always working on bringing new products and features to Roku users, and part of that process is publicly testing new ideas with a small set of our customers,” said Roku in a statement.
The remote pictured in the screenshot on Reddit looks a lot like current Roku remotes. The company lists rechargeable battery, lost remote finder, hands-free voice, personal shortcuts and private listening as the key features.
Roku is scheduled to announce its fourth-quarter earnings this week but the company earlier this year released preliminary figures. The company said it now has 51.2 million active accounts according to its preliminary estimated data for the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, 2020.
By the company’s count, the Roku platform added approximately 14 million accounts in 2020. Roku also reported an estimated 17 billion streaming hours in the fourth quarter for a total of 58.7 billion hours in 2020, up 55% year over year for the quarter and the full year.
“I’m excited that more than 50 million households now turn to Roku for their TV viewing,” said Roku CEO Anthony Wood in a statement. “The world is moving to streaming and we look forward to continuing to help viewers, advertisers, content publishers, and TV manufacturers succeed in the Streaming Decade.”