A search on Amazon Echo devices with a screen will return visual responses from a vast collection of photographs thanks to a new partnership between the tech giant and Getty Images.
Getty announced Monday that it was integrating its news, sports, entertainment, archival and creative image resources to enhance the voice replies from Amazon’s AI assistant Alexa. Results will show up on Amazon’s smart-speaker-plus-screen options Echo Show and Echo Spot,
The Getty family just last week said that it was regaining control of the photo agency which had been in private equity control for 10 years.
“Our premier collection of editorial, creative and archival content is a natural fit for Amazon’s Echo products, bringing best-in-class visuals to Echo users,” Peter Orlowsky, senior vice president of strategic development for Getty Images said in a news release. “We are honored to unite with Echo’s screen-based products and to use our deep library of content to give Alexa her best look yet.”
Getty, which promises some 200 million digital assets, offered up a examples of how images will be used when Echo users speak to Alexa. If you say, “Alexa, who won best actress at the Academy Awards?” the search will return images from the red carpet and so forth. Try “Alexa, what is the capital of Uruguay?” and you’ll get the answer Montevideo, along with imagery of that city.
Enhancing Alexa’s search returns could be part of Amazon seeing the bigger competitive picture, as Google is reportedly planning the release of its own smart speaker equipped with a screen in time for the holiday season.