The Amazon Echo shows just how fast, new and innovative technologies can break through the derision of early detractors to become a near-focal point of in-home commerce. Third-party apps have been a big part of the Echo's daily progression toward ubiquitous usefulness, but now, Amazon itself has upgraded its device in a simplistically intuitive way.
GeekWire is reporting that Amazon has officially added live package tracking to Echo devices. With the catchphrase, "Alexa, where's my stuff?" or "Alexa, track my packages," the device will start reading out status reports and expected delivery times for any packages currently en route somewhere in Amazon's sprawling logistics network.
While it might seem like an innocuous little addition to an already thriving ecosystem, the ability to track packages through an Echo means there's one less reason for users to pull out their phones or laptops and visit Amazon's site. It's another step forward for the Echo as Amazon pushes it to become not just the center of in-home commerce but a new way of interacting with the brand, however customers see fit to do so.
It's certainly no voice-commanded pizza ordering system, but at least, the upgrade shows that Amazon isn't going to fall behind all those third-party developers that keep adding onto the ecosystem.