|Amazon, the e-commerce giant, is taking Alexa beyond its Echo and Fire devices. PHOTO: AMAZON ALEXA|
Computer manufacturers HP, ASUS, and Acer are all adding support for the Amazon Alexa digital assistant, with more companies likely to continue the trend.
The advent of Alexa for Business combined with these integrations could help to set Alexa up as a key business tool.
A host of top computer manufacturers are adding Amazon Alexa capabilities to their core models.
The three personal computer giants debuted personal computers that are designed to work with Alexa, part of a push by Amazon to spread its voice assistant to more third-party devices.
The companies announced the new computers against the backdrop of this week’s annual International Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas.
Although most people interact with the Alexa voice assistant through Amazon’s web-connected speakers, the Echo and the Echo Dot, the online retail giant has been increasingly courting third-party companies to embed Alexa in their own devices.
Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, believe that voice-activated assistants are a new frontier for interacting with computers.
As a result, these companies are investing heavily in voice technology and are increasingly debuting products like Google and its Google Home speakers that use voice assistants to do things like play certain songs when asked.
People can already access Alexa on their PCs through an Amazon-sanctioned website for developers to test their Alexa apps, or skills, built for the Echo.
The new HP Inc, Asus, and Acer computers, however, come with features specifically designed for Alexa and make it easier to access the service rather than having to visit a website.
For example, the HP Pavilion Wave comes with a special LED that lights up to show that Alexa is listening. That computer, like Acer’s Amazon-supported PCs, also contains custom Intel audio processors that are intended to help Alexa better hear and respond to people’s voices.
People can use Alexa on their computers, for example, to check their online calendars, play music or podcasts, and control Internet-connected devices like lights and thermostats in their homes, Acer said.
The announcements are all good news for Amazon, which seeks to broaden the scope of Alexa. However, it means more competition for contenders Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana, the latter of which could be facing an early grave.
SOURCE: FORTUNE.COM/ TECH REPUBLIC