Revealing its mid-term strategy for Alexa, Amazon has partnered with several vendors to add its digital assistant to their products.
First up is Dish Network Corp., which is pairing its Hopper DVR with the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot -- both Alexa devices.
Per the pact, Dish customers will soon be able to control their TVs with voice commands.
“You no longer have to set down your popcorn to change the channel, or spend time searching for what channel the game is on,” Rob Pulciani, director at Amazon Alexa, stated. “Just ask Alexa to do it for you.”
Whirlpool is also syncing several of its appliances with the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot.
Additionally, Lenovo is adding Alexa to some of its smart devices, the Chinese tech giant announced this week.
Seen as the future of mobile computing, digital assistants are everywhere. For Amazon, the new partnerships are designed to give it a leg on a host of competitors, including Apple’s Siri, Ok Google, Facebook M, and Microsoft’s Cortana.
About a month after agreeing to buy Viv -- the AI firm helmed by the same engineers who created Siri -- Samsung recently revealed it was readying a voice assistant of its own.
Today, 40% of smartphone owners already use digital assistants, according to a recent survey conducted by Parks Associates. Millennials are most likely to partake (46%), but -- as the technology continues to improve and we get more comfortable talking to our gadgets -- such services are increasingly becoming common practice.
Nearly three quarters (72%) of consumers that use digital assistants are already satisfied with their capabilities, while more than a third (38%) of those consumers report being very satisfied.
More broadly, Amazon is reportedly developing a premium Echo-like speaker with a video screen. The forthcoming device is expected to have a touchscreen measuring some seven inches.