Talking to devices in your home directly may speed up the adoption of IoT
SIRI, Google Now, Microsoft Cortana are all racing to be the central control point for the intelligent digital assistant. . . and the tech is getting better every day – and the next generation of chatbots will reinforce that.
Amazon is taking a very different approach with its Alexa product that will enable devices – like light switches to be controlled directly by speaking to them directly rather than accessing them from a smartphone.
This should increase the speed of adoption for IoT in the home and remove control from Apple and Google and Microsoft. Watch the video – it’s very good and the product is getting great reviews. . .
From FastCompany: “If Amazon’s Alexa had just served as an entry point to the company’s mega-marketplace, it would have been as boring as the failed Amazon Fire smartphone. But Alexa is way more than that.
Alexa feels like an AI, nothing less. She’s a personal assistant that lives in the cloud and is always listening to you, through a number of available physical devices that use her as their brain. These include the Amazon Echo, the Echo Dot, the Amazon Tap, and Fire TV.
When the first embodiment of Alexa, the Echo, was introduced in late 2014, many thought the device was just a thing you could talk to to buy stuff on Amazon. That’s why Alexa was roundly mocked by tech pundits for the whole first chapter of her life.
But as the laughter died down, people began buying, and loving, the Echo. The Echo is just a thing with some microphones and a speaker; what they loved is Alexa, not her body but her brain. Some people bought two or three of her. People built special niches in their walls for her. The reviews on Amazon were glowing, and still are.
Standing on the kitchen counter, Alexa proved simple and immediately useful. She can read you recipes or the news. She played Spotify or Pandora streams. She made to-do lists for you. And yes, she ordered stuff for you on Amazon.
Alexa isn’t yet as smart and functional as other personal assistants like Apple’s Siri and Google’s Google Now, but she hears you better, she isn’t trapped inside a phone, or inside some platform’s garden walls. And Amazon has made it easy for third-party developers and device makers to integrate with Alexa. These early strategic choices by Amazon will amplify the leaps forward in intelligence that Alexa will make in the future.”..more…