In 2014, Amazon announced the smart-speakers brand Amazon Echo, with an integrated voice-controlled digital assistant, Alexa. Definitely not the first, neither was going to be the last, Alexa was just another intelligent digital assistant we see in various electronic devices. Little did anyone know that it's going to be one of the biggest artificial intelligence (AI) platform in three years of time.
At the recently concluded Consumers Electronics Show (CES) 2018, dozens of products with built-in Alexa Voice Service (AVS) were announced. These products join the already long list of over 50 AVS integrated electronic devices. The Alexa integrated devices include smart speakers, soundbars, thermostats, smartphones, home appliances, PCs, TVs, wearables, in-car accessories, set-top boxes, and more. Amazon also recently revealed that the cloud-based voice service now has over 30,000 skills in its repertoire.
But that's not the end for Alexa. Many OEMs are regularly announcing new products with integrated AVS. The biggest surprise, however, is its integration in Windows PC, nailing the end of Cortana, Microsoft's very own digital assistant. Apart from PCs, many other Alexa equipped devices are coming in the next few months.
Amazon recently introduced the Alexa Mobile Accessories Kit, which makes it easier to build portable Alexa-enabled devices. Companies like Jabra, Cleer, and Beyerdynamics have already announced Alexa equipped headphones, helping customers bring everything they love about Alexa on-the-go. Many other companies like Bose, iHome, and Bowers and Wilkins are expected to follow the suite soon.
American company Sound United also unveiled a sound bar with Alexa built-in, elevating home entertainment for customers.
At CES 2018, Toyota, Panasonic, Elektrobit, Faurecia, and Byton all announced that they will be building in-car Alexa experiences for customers. Device makers Garmin and Anker also introduced new Alexa-enabled products helping customers bring Alexa into the vehicle of their choice.
Alexa has a wide range of skills when it comes to home appliances. From TVs and microwaves to air conditioning units, Alexa has skills to help people control all aspects of their home. In all, there are more than 4,000 Alexa-controlled smart home devices in the current market.
As we can see, Alexa is leading the way when it comes to artificial intelligence. Google Assistant is not too far behind though. Also, Samsung and LG are closing on to make their own AI platforms, Bixby and Deep ThinQ, public. This means more competition among the brands, giving consumers a wide range of products to choose from.