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Thursday, March 03, 2016

Amazon’s smartphone flop was the best thing that happened to Alexa | The Verge

Amazon Echo Dot-news-Tyler Pina

"Artificial intelligence is the future, specifically, voice-controlled AI that allows you to interact with a multitude of apps and services without using a screen; that’s the point that Amazon underscored yesterday when it unveiled its newest hardware. But the event wasn’t really about hardware. It was all about extending Alexa, making "her" available in even more places.

Of course, Amazon is not alone in this thinking. Other tech companies are making big advancements in consumer-facing artificial intelligence. The most familiar is Apple’s Siri. Microsoft has Cortana. There’s also Google Now, the super-smart intelligence layer on Android phones. However, all of these started out anchored to the smartphone. They require adoption of certain mobile operating systems, and in most cases still require people to be near something with a display.

Amazon’s Alexa does not. While we’ve all been busy looking down at our smartphones, Amazon has slowly been filling in the pieces of the smart home puzzle, the smart life puzzle. The original Echo is now a kind of spine for Alexa in the home; the Fire TV and Echo Dot are part of the peripheral nervous system; and the new portable Tap speaker is the first attempt at giving Alexa legs to roam. It’s simultaneously amazing, and terrifying (if you consider the security implications)."

Amazon’s smartphone flop was the best thing that happened to Alexa | The Verge

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