Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated virtual assistant, is rapidly reaching new touchpoints. As the leading voice assistant, capturing 62% of the market in 2017, Alexa is notorious for being deeply integrated in the lives of Amazon customers — from smart homes to kids’ bedrooms — and has no intention of slowing down.
Unlike Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Assistant, Alexa doesn’t have a native desktop operating system to live on. However, thanks to an integration with Windows, Alexa comes preinstalled on a handful of computers, including an all-in-one HP desktop and a couple of Acer laptops.
Microsoft’s Xbox One is currently working on Alexa compatibility, according to Windows Central. Take the death of Xbox Kinect, consider that Amazon hired an Xbox console marketing lead in order to grow Alexa’s presence in gaming, and this move makes perfect sense. “Alexa, turn on my Xbox and open Stardew Valley” may soon be a reality.
According to CNBC, Mastercard is considering creating Alexa and Google Assistant integrations in order to let customers make payments with their voice. This aligns with Mastercard’s “conversational commerce” strategy — the company recently launched an integration with Facebook Messenger that allows SMBs to receive payments. Time will tell if credit card companies will be able to keep up with technologies such as Amazon Pay and Apple Pay.
“Alexa, vacuum the living room floor.” While Alexa-controlled smart vacuums aren’t exactly new, they’re becoming better and more affordable.
Baby’s First Word
We’ve been talking about the steep implications that voice-controlled assistants have regarding children for a while now, particularly with the release of Echo Dot Kids Edition. Now, the not-so-surprising has finally happened — a British baby’s first word was Alexa. Intrigued by getting the device to activate, youngster Joe Brady “would break into a fit of excitement” after getting a response from Alexa, according to Daily Mail.
Voice assistants are gaining popularity and getting smarter at an alarming rate. As consumers shift from computers to smartphones to using their voice, having a voice strategy is vital for brands looking to sustain relevancy as they move into the future.