Amazon isn’t at CES in any formal capacity, but once again, it seems to be everywhere thanks to Alexa.
SINCE OPENING UP ITS VOICE ASSISTANT TO OTHER COMPANIES’S PRODUCTS
Since opening up its voice assistant to other companies’ products, we’ve seen it put in all types of gadgets and gain some strange integrations. And at CES this week, the continuation of that is one of the biggest trends we’ve seen.
THESE PRODUCTS INCLUDE A MICROPHONE AND SPEAKERS
These products include a microphone and speakers, so you can talk directly to them to interact with Alexa — no Echo required.
- Westinghouse, Element, and Seiki are all building TVs that include Fire TV software and a remote that includes Alexa voice control.
- LG put Alexa in a refrigerator, which also has a giant 29-inch touchscreen.
- Lenovo’s Smart Assistant is basically an Echo by a different name.
- Mattel’s Aristotle is sort of like an Echo, but with features designed to help parents care for newborns.
- Bixi is making a portable puck with Alexa in it.
- GE is presenting its LED ring lamp, which is kind of like what would happen if you put a halo on an Echo Dot.
- Omaker made a portable speaker with Alexa.
- Onvocal made these horrible business neckbuds with Alexa.
- This five-device charging dock includes a speaker with Alexa support.
Even more products are adding integrations with Alexa, meaning they can be controlled by voice commands given to an Echo, Echo Dot, or any of the Alexa-enabled devices listed above.
WHIRLPOOL MADE NEW WASHERS, DRYERS
- Whirlpool made new washers, dryers, refrigerators, and ovens that can be controlled, to varying degrees, with Alexa.
- Dish’s Hopper DVR is gaining voice control through Alexa.
- Samsung’s Roomba competitor now lets you be even lazier about vacuuming by just yelling at an Echo device.
- ADT is adding Alexa control to its Pulse security system.
- Linksys’ Velop router system will support a handful of commands, including one to that lets Alexa read your Wi-Fi password aloud.
That’s (most of) what we’ve spotted so far, but there’s likely to be more out there already and more to come. GeekWire reports that Alexa is now past 7,000 “skills” — Amazon’s name for integrations — more than doubling its total from September. In June, it had only 1,000 integrations.
Clearly, companies are interested. The question now may be: with such a wide variety of integrations and varying product qualities, can Amazon keep it all together in a way consumers continue to respect?