Roku Seeds Rechargeable Remote

By way of reddit, we learn Roku has soft launched a new $30 ‘Roku Voice Remote Pro‘.

Beyond the obvious “voice” recognition functionality, maybe now always listening for wake words, the new and notable feature here is Roku swapping out the copper top for a rechargeable battery –  non-removable and charged over micro-USB according to a beta tester in the thread, who has possessed the remote since November.

While there’s much I dislike about my dastardly Apple TV remote, I do appreciate its rechargeability. On the flip side, while I generally love my NVIDIA SHIELD remote, if you drop it on the couch at just the right (wrong) angle, the battery compartment pops off, occasionally even ejecting the cells. So I find a sealed, rechargeable Roku remote somewhat appealing.

Given the limited production run of 2,000 remotes being made available through the Roku Early Access Program, it’s unclear if this accessory will move to full production and retail availability – perhaps due to always listening power requirements. If not now, perhaps it’ll pop up later with USB-C, a more appropriate standard for 2021, or a charging cradle. Or simply bundled with one of their higher-end streaming players.

(via The Streamable)

13 thoughts on “Roku Seeds Rechargeable Remote”

  1. I think it’s safe to assume that any voice remote is recording your voice 24/7 and transcribing to text so that algorithms can create a marketing profile.

  2. I assume that’s what many do (and Eneloops are exactly how I keep up with my higher demand Xbox and Oculus Go controllers). Beyond that, new products ~especially unannounced products~ always catch my blogging eye.

    Speaking of battery utilization, no way a voice remote is recording 24/7. However, I don’t doubt Roku collects data on all sorts of device usage for advertising and marketing purposes.

  3. What would interest me a great deal more would be a remote that lights up. That is a feature not offered on any of Roku’s models.

  4. This seems like a solution searching for a problem. We have the current advanced remote with voice and TV controls. I swap out the eneloops in it about every 6 months or so. With a permanent battery, when the battery dies the remote has to be replaced. At a much higher cost.

  5. The problem I have with my Roku remote is the volume button stops working. I’ve had to replace it several times. Would this provide a solution?

  6. > So I find a sealed, rechargeable Roku remote somewhat appealing.

    I find sealed, rechargeable remotes completely unappealing. When the battery eventually wears out, it will become useless.

    Arguably it might be acceptable for a streaming device that itself might be obsolete and unusable by the time the remote dies, though.

  7. I’ve had my Apple TV, with rechargeable remote, since December 2015… and, like you, I’d wager most streaming boxes have shorter lifespans than other products.

  8. I have a Roku TV & what I wish for is a quicker way to change channels! How about Roku makes a remote with a number pad so we can choose the channel # & hit enter? Having to scroll through the whole guide to go to another channel is the BIGGEST drain on the batteries. Also, Roku has had a couple of weird updates where we couldn’t even scroll to get to another channel (plus a couple of other odd things), we had to hit the up button over & over until we find the one we wanted! Thank goodness that it would only last about a day & a half but it was still a big PAIN IN THE TUSH!

  9. Because of the battery drain issue, I tried rechargeable batteries in both my Roku remotes and they both drained the batteries a ton more. They went from 100% to 80% after just a few hours and now after just a few days, one is down to 55%! The alkalines lost 20% after a month, still not great but the drain was much less than the rechargeables draining so fast. Any advice/comments are appreciated.

  10. Lee, the reason they appear to be draining faster is because the nominal voltage of an alkaline is 1.5 volts while that of a rechargeable is 1.2 volts. The algorithm that measures the state of charge uses voltage as the metric, and is calibrated to 1.5 volt alkaline cells.

  11. and now you can’t even take the batteries out, making the eye of the watcher always watching.

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