The remote would be a great addition to Roku’s products, if you can look past the 2,000 early access users and micro-USB charging system.
According to Reddit user u/KingTut206 on the Roku subreddit, a new Roku remote is arriving soon, currently being beta-tested by 2000 Roku customers. The Roku Voice Remote Pro, as it’s referred to in said image, ditches AAA batteries for built-in lithium-ion batteries instead, helping to build further environmental support for the company’s products.
Alongside the addition of rechargeable batteries in this new model, the rumored remote will also include a “lost remote finder” option, with hands-free voice controls. Through that, you can find your remote through a ping, and control your Roku at a distance through your remote, respectively. It also features just two customizable buttons, 1 and 2, compared to the usual four, pre-programmed buttons with sponsored streaming services on them.
The image above says that this remote is only available to the Early Access Program however, at an invitation only, first-come, first-serve pathway. That means that this image could either be fake, and the small number of people that are rumored to have gotten it can be used as an excuse as to why nobody has it, or it’s just a small test-base, meaning that this could be really, but just nobody else went onto Reddit to talk about it.
The unfortunate part about this remote, if it exists, is that it’s powered via Micro-USB, an outdated and frankly, quite disliked, connector. It’s been replaced by lightning and USB-C in the present, and with Roku at the forefront of many streaming technologies, it’s a surprise to not see them using USB-C or some other proprietary charging method over Micro-USB.
However, the Early Access limited userbase of this remote might mean that the Micro-USB was just the cheapest and most convenient charging method, possibly leading towards an official USB-C remote in the future.
As mentioned before, the remote is in Early Access supposedly, with only 2,000 remotes being sold at $29.99. In comparison to Roku’s other remote offerings, the biggest difference is the inclusion of all of Roku’s remote tech (voice controls, programmable buttons, volume controls, a headphone jack for private listening, and more), which is spread out pretty evenly across their current offerings.
The $29.99 is the same as their highest priced remote, the gaming remote, with specific motion control and gaming buttons. Their full catalogue is such:
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Hopefully this is true however, although with USB-C over Micro-USB, obviously. The only issue would be the countless numbers of batteries that people already own that they had for their Roku remotes. It would still be great to see a Roku remote with a ping function for when you lose the remote, and distance voice-controls, which would be great.
Throw in the extra function to charge without new batteries, which like I said, is not universally appreciated, but still generally good, and you’d have a great remote, and especially for one that’s the same price as Roku’s other top remote offerings.
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