Released in 2015, the Amazon Echo has quickly grown in popularity in homes around the world. With more people expecting more from their voice-controlled devices, Amazon has stepped up their game and created partnerships with Domino’s Pizza, Uber, and Spotify. Better yet, the first time users order a car through Uber, they receive $15 off with a discount code.
Ordering a car is as easy as asking Alexa to call an Uber or UberX. Before doing so, users will first need to specify their location in Alexa’s app setting and either link an existing account or start a new one. Users can then track the car’s location via Alexa and even cancel the ride if necessary.
Getting pizza delivered is almost as easy, though it does require an account setup. After that, all users need to do is simply ask Alexa to place an Easy Order and they can then track it.
As Toni Reid, direcor of Amazon Alexa, states, “Music is one of the most popular features on Amazon Echo.” Due to overwhelming demand, Amazon now offers US Spotify subscribers the ability to listen to their music on the streaming service simply by asking Alexa to play a playlist, artist, genre or more. Plus, since the Echo supports Spotify Connect, users can transfer and control their listening experience from the app to the Echo.
These new services come with certain limitations of course. The Amazon Echo’s location can only be set within the United States. While there are some workarounds, it’s probably best not to order pizza from your Amazon Echo if you’re traveling outside of the US.
While Amazon designed the Echo to take care of the more repetitive household tasks such as creating shopping lists, playing music and answering general questions, Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT notes, “…at CES 2016 a number of companies were leveraging Amazon’s solutions as an interface for managing smart home tasks.”
One such area in which the Amazon Echo can excel is for consumers with mobility issues and the elderly. Rather than wrangle with a phone or pencil and paper, they can simple ask Alexa to remind them to take their medication or call 911 if necessary.
Alexa isn’t limited to the home though. Amazon has plans to bring her on the road. Ford has already announced plans to link its Sync technology with Alexa services so drivers can keep an eye on their fuel levels and car location. Naturally, this will also integrate with the Echo at home so consumers will know whether they need to make a stop at the gas station or not.
It’s likely Amazon won’t stop there. As more time passes, Amazon continues to improve and add to its service. And as more partnerships form among leading companies, many other developers will test to see how they can integrate Alexa into their products. As King notes, “Given Amazon’s longevity and reach…it will likely extend to every facet of the smart home including security, home entertainment, kitchen and diet management, calendar and scheduling.”
Amazon Echo image via Amazon