With Amazon’s recent announcement of new Echo devices last week, the company’s direction of incorporating Alexa in just about everything is clear. While some devices seem to gain more traction then others, i.e. Amazon Tap, Alexa is Amazon’s computing platform of the future.
Besides the release of Amazon’s new hardware, we’ve seen quite a bit of Alexa integration in partner devices and software. Microsoft announced Cortana would work with Alexa in a first for competing voice assistants and there’s also the HTC U11. What does this direction mean for Amazon in the technology space? From the looks of things it seems Amazon is willing to sit out the current platform war between smartphones and laptops. They’re looking to make a play for the future where the most important input device is not your hands but your voice.
Amazon knows they have something with Alexa. While they do make some great hardware, the long game is to have their voice assistant in just about anything willing to have it. You can already see it with Alexa enabled thermostats, watches and even refrigerators - Amazon is not scared to try anything and see what sticks.
While AR and VR get many of the headlines, voice is the most compelling story in technology right now and Amazon is the only company willing to put their assistant in just about any piece of hardware or ecosystem. It’s an interesting strategy that seems to be working. There’s not many people that have not at the very least heard of Alexa and/or tried the devices. It reminds me of the time iPods were gaining popularity and just about everyone had one. Even people that don’t own an Echo device seemed intrigued by the device.
Last holiday season the Echo Dot was the product to bring Alexa into many homes for the first time. This year it will be interesting to see if new Echo users will be willing to bring the new line of Echo products into their homes.