Alexa

Amazon’s Alexa Hits 20,000 Devices

Alexa

Amazon has announced that Alexa now works with 20,000 devices — a fivefold increase in just eight months.

“Just this year, Alexa has sung Happy Birthday millions of times to customers, and she’s told over 100 million jokes,” said Amazon executive Daniel Rausch at Berlin’s IFA tech show this past weekend, according to CNET.

Rausch, Amazon’s vice president of smart home, explained that at the beginning of 2018, Alexa worked with just over 4,000 devices. The number of brands using Alexa also increased from 1,200 to over 3,500 during the same eight-month period.

Some of the devices Alexa now works with include the Huawei AI Cube smart speaker, Asus ZenBook laptops and Yale’s Sync home alarm system.

Rausch added that there are currently 50,000 Alexa skills, as well as hundreds of thousands of developers in over 180 countries working on Alexa. In June, Amazon announced that developers can start building voice experiences for customers in Italy and Spain.

And last year, Amazon enabled Alexa voice shopping through Prime Now, including the ability to order from Whole Foods.

“Bringing Prime Now to Alexa voice shopping combines two of the most innovative shopping technologies available for an experience that our customers are going to wonder how they ever lived without,” said Assaf Ronen, then the vice president of voice shopping at Amazon.

Alexa has even been utilized by financial institutions, with the U.S. Bank announcing last year that it was among the first banks in the U.S. to enable customers to complete banking tasks such as checking an account balance or making a digital payment to a U.S. Bank credit card by speaking a command to Alexa.

“Voice technology is going to be central to the future of digital interaction,” said Gareth Gaston, head of omnichannel banking at U.S. Bank. “We’ve all become [accustomed] to speaking to our devices for simple things like getting directions to a restaurant or placing a call. Now, voice services such as Amazon Alexa are making it easy to check an account balance or hear a payment due date without picking up a phone or logging into internet banking. It’s a great example of innovation coming home for U.S. Bank customers.”

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