Amazon will let devs compete for the screen of your Echo Show and any Alexa adds to it
Amazon’s Alexa gadgets are environmental computers, not the sort you use throughout the day. When you ask your Echo a question or look at the little screen of your Echo Show, the voice assistant can only impress you briefly. Today, Amazon announces it will give third-party developers more possibilities — including new widgets and featured cards that might take up some of the valuable property of your smart speaker.
This is what the firm is expecting from all of the others at today’s Alexa Live event.
As you can see in the above mockup of Amazon, widgets look very much as you may anticipate. Amazon describes them in a blog post as “rich, personalized, look-out views of content” which allow you to check items from a to-do list or activate the functionality of skill without having to speak “Alexa” first.
It is not yet known how limited they are or whether they can actually create touchscreen software for an echo show.
Featured skill cards may be quite controversial, depending on their usefulness. It pushes new Alexa abilities, even if you haven’t asked for them on your home screen.
Amazon Alexa Skills VP Aaron Rubenson told The Verge that there is not something developers have to pay for. He argues, that you will see individualized results on the basis of various signals you supply Alexa.
“It’s open for everyone to take their hand and say they want to be part of it.” Comedy Central is one of the first talent cards on display and Rubenson said he could well envision it, as he currently listens to some comedy every morning in his Alexa Flash Briefing.
But even if you don’t have a screen-based Echo device, eventually you can gain more Alexa capabilities. Amazon claims it extends its name-free toolbox to promote the abilities of volunteers when you utter words such as “Alexa, how did the Nasdaq today?”
“We allow developers to raise their hand and say, ‘My ability can handle this request’,” Rubenson explains. If you agree to utilize the skills proposed by Amazon, Alexa can follow your request rather than repeat yourself.
While Amazon was the only company that has previously benefited from tangible goods sold through Alexa, the company will soon let Alexa skill developers sell Alexa’s products within their own capabilities and purchasing activities.
You can only sell things listed on Amazon.com, as expected, even if they don’t have to be your products. (Rubenson could not tell if Amazon would permit talents that actually only store.) Amazon is also offering paid skills, so be not surprised if you have to pay for your next Alexa app rather than making an in-app purchase.
Although Amazon doesn’t seem to have lured Apple, Google, and Samsung competitors to their voice interoperability push yet, it also has certain news on this front.
Rubenson says that Samsung’s fridge will work together with Bixby and Alexa and that the Alexa Custom Assistant company will be displayed in a Verizon intelligent display where Alexa can handle standard Alexa tasks, while the new Verizon assistant can process requirements such as checking your wireless bill. Rubenson also thinks they can hand each other demands.
Here is a quick bulleted summary of other Alexa improvements that captured my eye, in addition to those highlights:
“High-quality, food supply and pick-up experience” Food Skill APIs. At some point, Domino’s Pizza will use it.
send to the telephone where “users can start an Alexa-enabled gadget experience and continue on their mobile phone.” Twitter, Husqvarna, McDonald’s UK, Iberia Airlines, Cookpad, and Lysol are going to connect their mobile applications with Alexa capabilities.
Triggers and proactive suggestions based on events:
“For example, if a customer goes to work, customers might decide to proactively propose locking their homes.” Whole Foods launches this year’s “Curbside Pickup Experience.”
That’s not the complete list, mind you, there’s more in the Amazon full blog post that we’ll add once it’s live to this story.
In addition, Amazon is now announcing the support for Matter, a new ambitious open standard for smart home devices for practically every Echo smart speaker.
Today, the new features come as part of the Alexa Live Developer Conference to lure the next generation of programmers to build their voice assistant capabilities. Amazon now says it has 900,000 registered developers and 130,000 skills (over 750,000 a year ago and 100,000 skills by September 2019), and Rubenson believes developer revenue has risen every year.
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