Amazon doesn’t even have its own CES booth, but the Seattle-based tech giant promises to be one of the biggest stories at the tech-a-palooza in Las Vegas next week — thanks to two of its technologies that are increasingly being embraced by consumer electronics manufacturers.
Early CES pitches and announcements reveal a new wave of devices and gadgets that will integrate Alexa, the company’s voice-enabled virtual assistant. At the same time, more appliance makers are embedding the Amazon Dash Replenishment Service, technology that can be incorporated into devices to automatically reorder items like detergent or filters when sensors detect supplies are running low.
What’s driving the trend? Appliance makers, home electronics companies and car manufacturers are all looking for a competitive edge in a commodity market, and Amazon’s services are providing many of them with a chance to be different than their rivals.
Alexa’s momentum in third-party devices reflects the company’s surprise early lead over competitors including Google and Microsoft in the market for voice-controlled devices. Amazon debuted Alexa in its Echo devices, but the virtual assistant can also be integrated into third-party hardware through Alexa Voice Services.
Samsung, for example, is planning to debut a robotic vacuum that is compatible with the Amazon Echo, so consumers can control it with their voice. Chip maker Conexant will show off a new development kit for processing voice commands to make it easier for manufacturers to integrate Alexa.
Several makers of third-party speakers will also show off Alexa-integration at CES. Dok Talk, a multi-device charger and Bluetooth speaker is demoing its Alexa Smart Search, which can make phone calls, play audio, and respond to search queries. The Nightingale Sleep System, dual white noise speakers that can be controlled by Alexa, will also be on display.
Amazon’s voice services will be ubiquitous among home security companies exhibiting at CES. Motorola is debuting a smart home monitoring system that uses Alexa voice control and the Blink Home Security System is launching new additions to its connected home products, which integrate fully with Amazon Echo.
Invoxia, the company behind the first non-Amazon speaker to incorporate the Alexa voice is launching a new product at CES. The device is a hub to control the connected home with voice commands.
Linkplay has partnered with Amazon’s Alexa team to debut several certified Alexa Voice Services for audio products. “We take the complexity and pain out of the process and make it easy for manufacturers to implement AVS push- to-talk and hands-free technology,” says Linkplay.
This list may seem exhaustive, but it’s just a small sample of the companies that are heading to CES to show off their integration with Amazon’s services.
Alexa won’t be the only A.I. personality flexing her virtual muscles at CES. Google Home, an Echo competitor that launched earlier this year will be on display at the convention. Leads on both the Google Home and Amazon Alexa teams are planning to speak at a session on the future of connected homes.
Harmon Kardon is planning to launch the first smart speaker powered by Microsoft’s Cortana sometime in 2017. The company hasn’t announced plans to debut the product at CES but we expect to see it there.
Still, Amazon’s early lead in the space means Alexa will be the most prevalent of the three at CES.
In addition, Amazon executives are also speaking on several panels at CES to promote Alexa and to teach developers how to design experiences using the technology.
Alexa arrived in Vegas a few weeks before CES’s opening day. Earlier this month, the Wynn hotel announced it would equip nearly 5,000 hotel rooms with Echo devices to improve the guest experience.
GeekWire will be tracking Amazon’s CES footprint at the big convention next week. Check in for updates from the speaker sessions and show floor.