Amazon’s Alexa, the voice service that powers Echo, provides capabilities, or skills, that enable customers to interact with devices in a more intuitive way using voice. This includes the ability to play music, answer general questions, set an alarm or timer and more. It is built in the cloud, so it is always getting smarter. The more customers use Alexa, the more she adapts to speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences.
Within a short span, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service has spread far beyond the Echo speaker where it first debuted. Alexa has gone from being an at-home helper to a personal assistant that can unlock car, make a robot dance and even order groceries from the fridge.
This year at CES, instead of standing out for their memorable devices, a lot of companies showed up interest in the voice of Alexa for implementing in their product. At CES, Ford and Volkswagen announced that their cars would integrate Alexa for weather updates, navigation and more.
Using a voice service in the car keeps connection with the intelligent assistant intact. It’s also a mode of communication that will be essential to autonomous cars in the near future as all the big auto companies largely investing in it.
CJ Frost, principal architect solutions and automotive lead at Amazon said, “the car industry is moving into a mobility space. The idea isn’t restricted to the ride anymore; it encompasses a journey that starts before you even get in the car. With the right skills built into the voice service, you can start a conversation with Alexa about the state of your car (is there enough fuel, is it locked, etc.) before you leave the house. It can also pull up your calendar, check traffic updates and confirm the meeting to make sure you’re on track for the day.”