If you have Amazon’s digital voice assistant, Alexa, hooked up in your home, you are using it to turn on lights, switch TV channels, set timers when you are cooking or even turn on your microwave. But recent signs are showing that Amazon wants to take this technology outside of the home.
Amazon will be kicking off its hardware event today and over the next few days at its Seattle, WA headquarters and interest is in how Amazon will take Alexa outside the home.
There are reports that Amazon is working on Alexa-powered earbuds and Alexa-powered car integration with Echo Auto and also an Alexa integrated wearable health tracking band. The wearable health tracking band will be a bracelet fitted with microphones that can even interpret a wearer’s emotional state. This will put it up against Apple Watch’s Siri in the consumer health market.
Amazon has already begun to branch out into the virtual health care market by outfitting its own employees with the device so the logical next step would be to extend its health-focused wearable to consumers.
With the integration of Alexa into earbuds, Echo Auto and wearables, Amazon is working to convince consumers that it’s time to take Alexa out of the home and into all their daily tasks at work or wherever their location.
Both Google and Apple are also trying to convince consumers to use a digital voice assistant especially with wearables. Using voice assistance is more driven by situation a consumer is in, or by its convenience, and reliability. It is more conducive to use voice assistance with earbuds than wearables out in the real world.
Amazon is working hard to free Alexa from location constraints and it is also working on integrating Alexa in a seamless inter-operability for how it can work across devices.
But Amazon faces huge hurdles in setting Alexa free in that the two largest smartphone platforms are being left out of the conversation in its efforts of integrating Alexa across all devices.
Apple and Google have their own platform integration with Siri and Google Assistant, respectively. And Apple has over 1.4 billion iOS devices that have Siri integration and Google has over 2 billion Android devices with access to Google Assistant. Those are huge numbers compared to the 100 million devices that have been sold by Amazon.
So consequently, Amazon is eyeing its Alexa wearables with big partnerships in order to convince consumers that Alexa needs to be taken outside the home and play a role in all daily tasks, whether going to work, shopping, to the gym or a run through the park or anywhere else.