Amazon is working on a new type of device that can record live TV and stream it on demand, encroaching on technological turf occupied by TiVo, Bloomberg News reported today.
Bloomberg quoted an unnamed source as saying that the device, internally code-named “Frank,” would have physical storage and connect to Amazon’s Fire TV boxes. The concept reportedly allows for transmitting the video stream wirelessly to smartphones.
The source said that Amazon hasn’t made a final decision on the project, and that its rollout could be canceled or delayed.
Amazon didn’t immediately respond to GeekWire’s request for comment on the report.
Fire TV devices currently are capable of streaming live video from a selection of content providers, such as HBO and Showtime, but the devices can’t store video locally.
Bloomberg said Amazon’s Lab126, the research and development center behind the Echo smart speaker and the rumored Project Vesta robot, is taking the lead role on Project Frank.
Amazon’s Fire TV stick is also due for an upgrade, and the company is looking to incorporate Fire TV software and video content into more TV hardware manufactured by other companies, Bloomberg reported. Several brands, including Toshiba and Westinghouse, already offer television sets with Fire TV technology built in.
In June, Amazon introduced Fire TV Cube, which serves as a hands-free, voice-commanded remote for TV sets and cable boxes.
Amazon’s moves show that the company is targeting a wide range of TV-associated devices including Roku as well as TiVo and Slingbox.
Tivo shares registered a decline of more than 4 percent today, presumably due to the Bloomberg report, while Roku shares were down 1.7 percent. Amazon shares finished the trading day down 0.2 percent.