"Alexa, let's fill out the perfect March Madness bracket." Yes, Amazon's Fire TV devices are giving the NCAA's annual tournament the attention it deserves.
Amazon just announced that it's building an interactive NCAA March Madness 2023 bracket into the Fire TV operating system, and it's going to be available starting today. And all you need to do to start is — on a Fire TV — say "Alexa, fill my bracket."
Of course, you won't get the assistant to fill out your bracket for you (this isn't ChatGPT), but that voice command will bring you to the interactive bracket menu.
You can also double-click the Alexa voice control button, and select the March Madness button (as seen above) from the shortcuts panel. This is Amazon's latest bid to make Fire TV a more lively and interactive platform, following its similar Oscars prediction feature.
Once you're in, you have until March 16th to make your predictions for tournament matches — and this all comes in handy because you'll be able to track your picks via the Fire TV. Correct predictions mean points, and Amazon's going to be tracking the leaders and letting you see how your bracket fares against the field.
You can also get a link to your bracket via (of course) a QR code, so you can send it to your friends.
Amazon's also got a contest component, as it's giving away Echo Show devices. Not to whomever gets the most points, but to five lucky winners who predict the tournament winner in a reply to a Twitter post it will upload.
Analysis: Is this the way to make Fire TV more compelling than Roku?
We absolutely love Roku's streaming sticks and devices, so much so that we named the Roku Streaming Stick 4K the best streaming device overall. But Amazon's always-popular sticks have always fared well, though it's mostly for their near-constant sale pricing and how they can be hacked.
These fun event-focused extras, though, could be the kind of thing that Fire TV sticks, TVs and Cubes need to increase their positive brand identity with audiences. Time will tell, but we're impressed to see Amazon focus on interaction.