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)