Virtual assistant devices are big business, and Amazon‘s Alexa is breaking new ground by offering exclusive deals to customers on Amazon’s Prime service. Could this give Alexa the edge it needs to compete with the likes of Apple‘s Siri and Google‘s Assistant?
Amazon launched an AI assistant speaker in 2014, and recently they have started pushing the Echo in the United Kingdom. Echo is powered by the Alexa AI and is used as a personal secretary for a variety of purposes. Echo is controlled by voice commands.
The AI Assistant Competition
Of course, Alexa isn’t the only AI assistant on the market. Tech giants like Apple and Google have Siri and Assistant, respectively, and those AI are being spread across all of their very successfully marketed devices, including Apple’s wireless AirPods and Google Home. Similarly, Amazon has been integrating Alexa into their tablets and Fire TV service.
The market value for this aspect of AI is huge. According to Juniper Research, smart audio hardware brought in an estimated $1.4 billion USD in 2016, and that figure is projected to rise to over $5.5 billion USD by 2020.
Part of what makes Apple and Google’s AI assistant so successful is that they are successfully integrated with phones and tablets that are already used by millions. If Alexa is going to compete, she needs to give people a reason to use her instead of what they have in their pockets.
“The deals are very exclusive; even among Prime users, only those with ‘1 click’ checkout can see the deals.”
Only the Best Deals for Prime Customers
As a response to competition, for the first time ever, Amazon is offering exclusive deals to their Prime customers on Alexa products. For consumers, this means that the small speaker on their desk might give them a sweet new deal on that new TV.
The deals are very exclusive; even among Prime users, only those with “1 click” checkout can see the deals. By leveraging their customer base to help sell their smart speaker, this move may keep the Echo relevant in the smart audio market.
It seems that the personal assistant AI device is here to stay, and it’s getting integrated into more and more devices. With such large companies putting so much money into its development, it may not be long until we all have a digital secretary.