Amazon’s Alexa is being a household feature for many technology savvy Americans. Most commonly, they utilize Alexa, which is a virtual assistant, through the Amazon Echo, a smart speaker developed around the personal assistant. Now, Amazon is poised to offer Alexa through even more of their products, beyond just a smart speaker.
Amazon plans to incorporate the Alexa into eight additional devices in an effort to continue to push the virtual assistant. Among the new devices are a microwave oven, a receiver, a subwoofer, and even a gadget employed within cars. Not all the devices will be Alexa-enabled, which means that not all will have the Alexa capability, but all will be able to easily connect to the voice assistant on other devices.
The primary goal of expanding the Alexa-enabled devices is to push Alexa so that it is not just located in one room of the house, but rather a part of all aspects of a consumer’s life. Amazon understands that to do this, they must get Alexa into parts of peoples’ lives where they spend the most time, for instance in the kitchen or in the car. In addition, they want to continue to modernize Alexa, so it is not merely viewed as a geeky and futuristic toy, they want it to be a considered a valuable tool that Is synonymous with a modern or up-to-date home. With that vision in mind, they are hoping to continue to lead the smart speaker market, an industry which according to Global Markets Insights, is expected to be worth more than $30 billion by 2024.
Perhaps the most notable part of this expansion effort is Amazon’s move into the appliances sector. From Whole Foods Market to health care, each month, it seems Amazon is inserting itself into a new industry. The move into the home appliance space would put them in competition Sonos and GE, among others. At this point, both Sonos and GE have begun to utilize “smart appliances” which can be connected to and controlled with Alexa. Furthermore, Garmin, which is a player in the navigation or automobile industry, has a dash cam which is compatible with Alexa. Amazon’s entry into this space for itself will surely affect their competitors, but its unclear to what degree at this point.
Beyond just entering into the industry, it is very possible that Amazon could really hit the ground running. At this point, Amazon already owns the smart doorbell maker Ring, which is compatible with Alexa. Getting their name into the home appliances through Alexa-enabled devices, Amazon could continue to accelerate their partnership with home builders. At this point, they already have a strong partnership with Lennar, a home construction and real estate company, in which Amazon is able to put two Echo speakers in new homes and get Amazon technicians in as needed.
In a statement regarding the new devices and push for Alexa at a larger scale, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said, “We want customers to be able to use Alexa wherever they are. There are now tens of thousands of developers across more than 150 countries building new devices using the Alexa Voice Service, and the number of Alexa-enabled devices has more than tripled in the past year.”