Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Advent of Alexa

The Advent of Alexa

By now, much of the world has learned about Alexa, Amazon’s voice control system.  It allows people to talk to their Echo device and order or search for items.  Even more than that, it allows for smart home control, such as dimming the lights and playing music.  Echo has “far-field” microphones, allowing response to voice commands from anywhere within earshot.  By simply saying “Alexa,” you can command it to get to work, bypassing traditional routes of search from your computer or phone.

At CES 2017, which took place in Las Vegas last week, more products were introduced which were powered by Alexa – LG introduced a new fridge, with a 9 inch touch LCD which allows the user to search recipes, play music, and order items through Prime as well as put items in their shopping list.  Lenovo launched an Alexa powered device as well, the Smart Assistant, powered with Harman Kardon speakers. 

Furthermore, both Ford and Volkswagen are integrating Alexa into their fleet.  This allows cars that are Alexa-enabled to do anything the typical Echo device does – music, timers, order from Prime – as well as car-centric features, such as ordering supplies or parts, through their Amazon accounts.

Implication:  It seems that Amazon continues to take steps to capture clients in every aspect of their daily life and increase ease of ordering items through Prime.  This further changes the landscape of search evolution, bypassing the traditional computer and even now, starting to bypass phone use.  Amazon will surely be able to leverage the data they collect to be able to even better predict

consumer needs, and start offering services that are partnered with Amazon – for instance, if it has been 6 months since your last oil change, it may be able to remind you to order what you need through Amazon.

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