Amazon's Alexa Is Getting Smarter Every Month
As I was waking up today and trying to pry myself from my bed, I said out loud to my Amazon Echo, “Alexa, what’s the weather like?”
In response, I was told exactly what the weather was going to be like: “Currently in Baltimore it's 78 degrees and clear skies.”
Knowing it was going to be a warm summer day with clear skies gave me more of an incentive to get out of bed.
That’s just one of the many different commands Alexa responds to.
Voice assistants, or digital assistants, have never been more useful than they are today, and the technology is constantly improving and expanding.
In the past six months, Alexa’s skill count has doubled. As of June 30, 2017, Amazon’s Alexa was able to perform 15,000 tasks.
Alexa is getting smarter and more useful each month.
I got an Amazon Echo as a gift, and at the time I thought I’d never use it. But now I find myself asking Alexa to do a lot of different tasks, which has made my life a lot more convenient.
Especially when it comes to things like forgetting to turn my lights off in my bedroom when I'm already comfortably laying in my bed, or waking up and being able to lay in bed and listen to what's going on in the news before I actually start my day.
Alexa’s flash briefings might be its most popular feature, as users can customize the news updates they want to hear. This feature is 20% of Alexa’s skill count because it’s so customizable that it requires more intelligence and memory.
Alexa’s best skill is its ability to understand natural language, which makes saying a command a lot easier. You don't have to say the command verbatim like you have to do with other assistants. You can speak normally, and Alexa will decipher what you're asking and perform the command.
Amazon Takes the Lead
While there are a lot of different digital assistants from some of the most prominent tech companies, Amazon’s Alexa has taken the lead and continues to be the most successful. It has continually shown the most growth and improvements since its conception.
It’s also the most user-friendly, which is another reason Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is the leader in voice-powered devices, and why it’s expected to control 70% of the market by the end of this year.
In addition to being easy to use, the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are very affordable devices. The price tags of $49.99 for the Echo Dot or $149.99 for Amazon Echo are relatively cheap and add a gift-giving appeal.
But what really sets Amazon apart from competitors like Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Siri is that Amazon is heavily focused on the speaker quality inside its devices rather than solely focusing on improving the voice assistant.
If consumers are able to use the device and speak to the assistant without getting frustrated and repeating themselves, then that’s the biggest win for a company.
In order to have that win, the device needs to incorporate high-quality speakers and microphones, which is why Amazon chooses the best-quality hardware for its devices.
The hardware inside these devices is the backbone of the products — and the companies that supply these crucial components like speakers and microphones are the real winners.
VoiceLabs recently reported that voice-activated speakers are expected to grow to 24.5 million in 2017. And as demand for these devices grows, demand for the necessary hardware will also increase.
Just imagine all the microphones and speakers that will be needed to build these 24.5 million devices...
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A Growing Chance
Amazon’s success inside this realm of digital assistants and artificial intelligence has forced its competitors to step up their game.
In June, Apple announced that it will be releasing its own device, the HomePod, in hopes of snagging some market share from Amazon.
The device will be available for purchase this December. The HomePod will have a much higher price tag than any of Amazon’s Echo devices, coming in at $349.
With such a high price tag, I can't imagine Apple will be able to take over much of Amazon's market share or even kick it out of the lead.
eMarketer has reported that 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month this year — a 128.9% jump from last year.
Vice president of forecasting at eMarketer, Martín Utreras, said this about the growing sector:
Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the technology, which is driving engagement...
As prices decrease and functionality increases, consumers are finding more reasons to adopt these devices.
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos saw a chance and quickly developed Amazon into a leader within a sector that barely existed a few years ago. Not only that, but he's also assisted in effectively marketing and developing a product that consumers find desirable and a necessary part of their daily routines.
If you’re interested in learning about another company that’s following the same trajectory that we’ve been seeing with Amazon over the past 10 years, then I’d like to extend an exclusive offer to be a part of a webinar with one of our editors, Charles Mizrahi.
Charles has an impeccable track record for finding companies with strong and innovative leaders, and you don’t want to miss out on the stock he’ll be sharing during the webinar.
The webinar will take place today, Tuesday, July 11, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Until next time,
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