CES is over, and in this article Wired Magazine has crowned Alexa “the winner”.
There are now over 7,000 Alexa-enabled devices, from cars to speakers to appliances and TVs. By offering an open platform for the development of Alexa-enabled devices, Amazon is getting tremendous market penetration and exponentially increasing the amount of consumer insights data it collects.
This is no easy feat. Not only does the technology need to be able to accurately understand the user (something that for Siri is still rather hit or miss), but it needs to be able to action on that command. And based upon’s Mark Zuckerberg’s own experience creating a connected home, he showed the latter to be more critical as he often “chatted” commands to his home using FB Messenger.
But is this really a game changer? Marketers love this, for sure. The ability to “listen” to what’s going on in a household has huge implications – for example, (theoretically) identifying who is in a room by their voice, and what commercial their listening to / watching (including the channel) based upon the audio signature. Tie that to actual purchase activity and you have true closed loop attribution for radio and linear TV.
But will consumers really incorporate this into their daily lives. Or will Alexa just end up having a conversation with Google Home? It’ll be some time before we see if this brings real value, or if it is just a gimmick. If having a virtual assistant really gives us the freedom to live our lives to their fullest, or if they just allow us to change the room temperature without leaving the bed.