The Star Of IFA 2017 Was….
Like CES the star of this years’ IFA show in Berlin was Amazon’s Alexa with vendor after vendor touting the capabilities of their products using Alexa as their voice activation hero.
In fact, Google Voice was limited to a few number of vendors products and while Google Voice is getting traction in Australia there are few products that work with the Google offering.
Alexa, Amazon’s chosen name for the personification of its artificial intelligence agent, will shortly be launched in Australia and already brands such as Harman, LG and several of the big phone brands are ready with technology that works with the Amazon offering. Alexa isn’t new to smartphones, with the likes of the Huawei Mate 9 and the HTC U11 ready to be updated for the Australian market as soon as Alexa arrives.
The latest to join the club is Motorola’s newest mid-range, the Moto X4 which was revealed at IFA 2017.
while Alexa was last to the party, it is now at the head of the pack for the simple reason that it works.
Siri was the firstborn, and that voice technology is going nowhere and you must have a Mac or an iPhone to use it.
Lenovo Home Assistant Pack
At IFA Lenovo showed the Leaning Tower of Echo, which is a Home Assistant speaker dock that turns a Lenovo TAB 4 into a voice activated device.
Harman Kardon Allure
Also at IFA 2017 Harman revealed the Alexa-powered Allure. The premium-looking, and premium-priced, speaker offers something that Amazon’s own Echoes don’t: superior audio quality from a 360-degree speaker.
Yamaha MusicCast, Disklavier pianos
This is one of the stranger ways to use Alexa with Yamaha adding support for Alexa skills on its MusicCast wireless speaker system, provided you have an Amazon Echo (except the Echo Look) connected.
Part of the MusicCast system is Yamaha’s Disklavier “reproducing pianos”. So, you can imagine commanding the piano to accurately replicate every nuance of a pianist’s performance and have the music play on every MusicCast speaker.
LG Smart Home
Technically, Amazon has not produced a single Alexa device other than its Echoes and the lone Dash Wand. Alexa has spread through partnerships with other device makers, and one of the somewhat surprising partnership is with LG. Then again, LG itself has chosen not to reinvent the wheel a fifth time and is giving its customers a bit more choice. So, if they want to speak to Alexa, so be it.
SlashGear said that Amazon Alexa’s growth spurt is both interesting to watch and almost dumbfounding. Here is a company who, while ginormous, didn’t really seem to have much in way of voice-enabled AI. And while Google is arguably the king in machine learning and artificial intelligence, Amazon has managed to overtake it and the other big players in the race.
But perhaps the biggest factor in this surge of Alexa adoption is Amazon’s aggressiveness. Amazon knows best how to sell things, whether to consumers or to business partners. It knows all the tricks, underhanded or otherwise, to hook people in, sometimes without them even realizing it. And with the AI assistant wars continuing to heat up, Amazon’s aggressiveness might exactly be what will make Alexa a Kindle rather than a Fire Phone.