Alexa of the Future
Amazon Alexa now works with over 60,000 smart home devices.
While other voice assistants primarily only work with your smartphone and a limited number of third party devices, Amazon Alexa has extended its reach in just about every way imaginable. The list of devices that work with Alexa continues to grow rapidly. Alexa currently works with over 60,000 smart home devices and over 7,400 unique brands https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/connected-devices/compatible?linkCode=w61&imprToken=LlnCsEQqWTBCyjU8s3NgUw&slotNum=0
Alexa is the clear leader as the dominant voice assistant with integrated smart home devices. The few other relevant competitors are lagging far behind at this point. Google Assistant is the most notable competitor, but is still far behind Amazon in terms of its integration with 3rd party smart home devices. As of October 2018, Google Assistant https://support.google.com/googlenest/answer/7639952 supports 10,000 devices from 1,000 popular brands.
As of early 2019, Amazon reported having sold more than 100 million Alexa enabled devices. https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/amazon-sold-more-than-100-million-alexa-devices/
However, quantity isn’t everything. While Alexa dominates integration with devices, it hasn’t been able to effectively breach the coveted smartphone space as the default voice assistant. For this reason, Alexa has only been able to penetrate 13% of the overall voice assistant market. The remaining ownership of course belonging to Siri and Google because of their availability on smartphones.
Alexa is the brains behind the Amazon ecosystem with Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Echo Spot and Echo Show.
Currently over 30,000 skills in the Amazon Alexa app (25 Best Amazon Echo Skills in Alexa App - https://turbofuture.com/consumer-electronics/The-20-Best-Amazon-Echo-Skills-in-the-Alexa-App)
Make no mistake, Amazon’s goal is to own the smart home of the future with Alexa at the forefront.
Alexa Gadgets Toolkit - Provides a way for programmers to easily make devices controllable by Alexa.https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/54e7b354-837d-4dc1-a33c-b6cf9e09a7a5/introducing-alexa-gadgets-toolkit-create-echo-connected-accessories-that-deliver-customer-delight We’ve seen this tactic before with Microsoft and Android. Basically when an operating platform becomes ubiquitous, it owns the market.
Alexa is changing the relationship between consumers and businesses. For Amazon, the future of Alexa relies on it’s bet that the reigning smartphone era is coming to an end. With touch screen devices and rapidly improving voice assistant capabilities, Amazon is acitvely trying to upend a decade dominated by smatphones with notifications and apps. Statistics indicate that the app era has peaked. Current smartphone platforms have become a minefiled of distractions. The primary goal of most social media apps is to occupy more and more of our time by making their apps addictive. There are clear indications that this app-driven environment is having detrimental health effects https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/ . According to ComScore , the rate of new apps downloaded per month iis rapidly decreasing. This is a clear sign to Amazon that the opportunity for a fresh approach to computing is ripe for the picking.
Alexa is changing the future of advertising as well. As users become accustomed to using voice, it seems inevitable that Amazon will offer advertising through Alexa’s platform. Brands have already saturated Alexa with their presence thanks to branded skills. Much like a Google search, Alexa will recommend skills for specific uses when asked. With Amazon’s unfathomable ownership of customer behavior and habits, it’s reccommendation engine is a clear game changer in the voice search space. While Alexa has delcared there are no plans for Alexa voice ads, it’s easy to speculate it will only be a matter to time before this business opportunity is tapped into once voice searches reach a critical mass.