Alexa Comes to PCs and Accessory Devices

09 January, 2018, 01:07 | Author: Elena Summers
  • Acer’s Switch 7 Black Edition will offer four microphones enabling far-field voice recognition for Alexa

Amazon is continuing its quest to put Alexa into every corner of your digital life as the company today announces that the voice assistant will be soon available on Windows 10 computers, the home turf of Microsoft's Cortana.

Companies such as Acer, ASUS, HP, and Lenovo are all on course to deliver Windows 10 machines with Alexa pre-installed later this year (though it won't be equipped with all of the native features at launch), with some these expected to be shown off at CES 2018 this week.

The three personal computer giants debuted personal computers on Monday that are created to work with Alexa, part of a push by Amazon to spread its voice assistant to more third-party devices.

This is big news considering the struggling Cortana voice assistant that nobody seems to use. Companies starting with Acer, Asus, HP and Lenovo, all are preparing to integrate the Alexa voice assistant on their new notebooks and desktops. That computer, like Acer's Amazon-supported PCs, also contains custom Intel audio processors that are meant to help Alexa better hear and respond to people's voices.

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In addition to coming to its first personal computer, on Friday Amazon released the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit to bring the AI assistant to more wearables, headphones, and smartwatches. It'll also bring additional support for Alexa-PC integration for making calls and sending messages.

This could be a huge win for Amazon, which is now trying to stay ahead of Google with regard to in-home digital assistants. Users can also manage smart home devices by controlling lights, thermostats and home appliances through voice commands to Alexa. Similarly, there is a custom LED to indicate Alexa's activeness - similar to Amazon Echo speakers. According to the details then provided, Alexa and Cortana will be able to integrate with each other across their respective ecosystems. "Voice is a natural interface for interacting with technology and can make everyday tasks simpler", said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa in the press release.

"It's day one for Alexa on PCs and we are excited that PC customers will have access to hands-free Alexa voice capabilities and tens of thousands of skills". Basically, at some point in the future, you'll be able to ask Cortana to tell Alexa to do something and vice versa.

As of mid-December, Amazon was said to have a roster of an estimated 25,000 Alexa skills, while Cortana was said to be on 230.

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