"Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) is reportedly about to take its voice-activated digital assistant to the next level. The Information is hearing that Amazon Echo and the Alexa voice-activated platform may soon give app developers the ability to push notifications out to users.
It's a pretty big deal when you think about it. Amazon introduced the $179 Echo early last year, giving first adopters a crack at owning the smart speaker. A smaller scaled-back version -- Echo Dot -- was briefly made available at $90 earlier this year.
In its present form, you can wake Echo up by simply saying "Alexa" or an alternate name. You can then interact with the device, asking it reference questions, getting news updates, stream music play lists, and a lot more. You can even listen to Motley Fool Flash Briefings -- but let's get back to business.
Allowing push notifications raises the stakes. Instead of merely asking it for a weather update, a savvier Echo would be able to tell you when a storm's on the way. Instead of waking Alexa up for score updates, TV show times, or Uber hailing, it would be able to offer score alerts, tell you when your show is about to start, or notify you that your driver is waiting outside.
Sure, you can do this on your smartphone, but this is a plugged-in device that won't drain your phone battery by monitoring for notifications, or interrupt your mobile-gaming experience."