Amazon wants Alexa to be the operating system of your life

It’s been a week since Amazon’s seemingly Amazon-oriented annual hardware event has taken place, but the tech and retail sector is likely to handle ads on high for several months. In less than two hours, Amazon has announced more than a dozen new products focused on home theater and entertainment, kitchen appliances and infotainment. The products were launched so suddenly and with so little fanfare that it was impossible for most viewers to follow, without even understanding why Amazon had built a microwave oven powered by Alexa or a 100W subwoofer.

In addition to the particular marketing strategy and similar to that of Amazon’s blitzkrieg, it is now clear that the company intends to open Alexa, its echo line, and each device to integrate its digital assistant to the dominant power of the smart home. Amazon essentially wants Alexa to be the operating system of everyone’s physical life, just as Apple, Google and Microsoft now control our digital system. Amazon is not only ready to develop its own products, which is perhaps quite disappointing, but is also ready to penetrate well-established markets that are unlikely to succeed. Only in this way will Alexa be able to further expand the range of software.

“Although it seems like Scattershot products are on the market today, the game lasts longer,” said Forrester analyst Jennifer Wise, who studies customer and user experience design. “Consider these products as a gateway to the customer’s life – a solution that will make Amazon’s smart assistant the wizard of choice over other options because Amazon is so deeply rooted.”

Photo: Dan Seifert / The Edge
At this point, it is obvious that Amazon is looking for the smart home. The company considers an AI-assisted language assistant and all devices in which it can evolve as a window to our buying behavior and a way to channel that behavior in a direction that is beneficial to Amazon. And as for the Premium subscription, the more the company can integrate you into its ecosystem, the more difficult it will be to leave.

“The introduction of a variety of products will help Amazon reach and become part of people’s homes, which will enhance Amazon’s intelligent assistant’s competitive edge over competitors,” said Wise. . It’s also a self-powered cycle: more use of Alexa gives more data to Amazon, which “helps Amazon improve its algorithms, improve the quality of the customer experience and conquer the market.” intelligent assistants, “adds Wise.

This may seem like a headache considering the prospect of an Amazon Microwave or high-end audio setup, if you can get a probably more sophisticated product from hundreds of established device and audio brands. The goal here is not necessarily to sell a ton of products. Instead, Amazon wants to make it more difficult for other users to sell their own voice assistance products in similar categories and to prevent competing voice assistants from gaining footholds. This is done by Apple and Google, outperforming new product categories, keeping prices at ridiculously low prices and constantly testing what works.

“Introducing a variety of products at different prices, some of which are not too intimidating for consumers, gives people buying options,” says Wise. “This will allow Amazon to fine-tune its hardware strategy, and it’s also very important that users have more opportunity to sign up for Prime, use Alexa, and engage with Amazon as a whole.”

Smart Doorbell and the Security Start Ring are just one of the many companies that Amazon has acquired to enter an emerging category of smart homes. Picture of Dan Seifert / The Verge
While Amazon has shown a shocking willingness to enter established markets, the company has been more reluctant and a smarter long-term strategy for new, less experienced smart devices. In this area, Amazon has been happy to find a favorable position in the market. At the end of last year, he bought the manufacturer of smart security cameras Blink. Earlier this year, he bought Smart Video Doorbell Maker Ring. Many of these companies find it through their $ 100 million Alexa fund, which is designed to monitor the smart home sector, explore new product opportunities and bring together those they love.

Through the Alexa fund, Amazon has invested in a number of companies that have subsequently been acquired, including a manufacturer of intelligent pool monitor called Sutro and a garage garage door opener called Garageio. In addition, the company has invested in Dragon Innovation, a hardware startup consulting firm that helps small electronics companies create a supply chain and properly manage the complexities of prototyping, manufacturing and logistics equipment.

Whether you’re a small start-up company or a established incumbent in an established non-technology industry, such as kitchen appliances, Amazon probably has your market in mind. He’s waiting to see if he can find his way to an existing job or develop his own product. Alexa is becoming more and more the software layer of the real world – in our living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens. Soon, Alexa will be in our garage door openers and pools, helping to support automated processes with smartphone apps.

“Unlike Google, which is already embedded in the lives of many people via phones, partnerships, and so on, the devices Amazon has developed are Amazon’s entry into consumer data,” says Wise. This is an important point as it highlights the path that Apple and Google will never lose: smartphones. Amazon’s unfortunate Fire Phone was an attempt to dismantle the Android iOS duopoly, and it failed miserably. And now, the Apple and Google Pervasive application ecosystems and mobile operating systems are probably the only factors that make both companies relevant in the field of smart home and digital assistant – Google far more than Apple and a number of others. Companies because of its cheaper domestic speakers and superior research capabilities.

But owning an iPhone or a Pixel will not convince people to buy new microwave ovens, smart speakers, lights or garage door openers, if not one, but all of these devices make Alexa work and talk to each other. And this seems to be Amazon’s blueprint: reaching Alexa faster than Google Assistant and Siri, so it’s not too late to convince customers to leave the Amazon ecosystem.

“Nowadays, most customers use voice applications such as Alexa to give basic commands:” turn up the volume, “set the timer” and “open the door,” says Wise. Still, Amazon has “all the devices and hardware in mind that are part of the future experience of” smart home and connected “,” which can now be anything at home, powered by battery or energy. Amazon’s goal now is for Alexa to lead them all and, with last week’s announcements, it’s now clear that the company is ready to go as fast as possible to achieve this goal.

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