Alexa and really Amazon Echo products I'm quite amazed at the synergy they have with the Amazon store. It's still quite amazing that I can ask questions, play my music, listen to things, and use skills in Amazon Echo. The fact that I can buy my pet's dog food or other products easily without having to deal with a web page or app is awesome. For Amazon, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy where they could eventually almost giveaway an Echo device to make it easier to buy products from Amazon. The mere fact that Amazon is the one selling the products from their store and Amazon is the one providing the device it's quite big. Google added Walmart store sales support in their personal assistant device Google Home. It’s not the same thing as Amazon as it’s two separate companies working it out to make sales. It's not as symbiotic as the Amazon device/store nor as subtle and thus makes it more complex for people.
When Amazon first came out with Amazon Echo Alexa they immediately provided support to place Alexa FREE in other non-Amazon devices I was puzzled. Having sold development tools from my previous company that I co-founded InstallShield I learned there's always a price for integrating software/hardware with your product usually in the form of royalties, a license fee, or a fixed upfront payment.
But Amazon was giving away the ability to place Alexa on any device. !!??!!
I quickly realized long ago that one of their ultimate goals was to sell more products by having every device in the world support Alexa. Every device can and will eventually be able to order products from the Amazon store. Genius! Another Amazon goal in providing Alexa free on any device is to allow all the device companies to help Amazon spread their Alexa entity way beyond Amazon's reach. Much further than Amazon could achieve by themselves through their devices. This is beautiful especially if Amazon wants to be the artificial intelligence cloud service king. As more and more devices add Alexa, like we will have to make our solutions more intelligent, Alexa will spread everywhere. A win-win for all.
Lastly, Amazon will benefit in their AWS cloud services because all device companies will be writing beautiful Lambda functions to support their device and skills. Inevitably, device people will use many other portions of the AWS cloud service to help service their customers. This greatly expands and entrenches Amazon AWS in our solutions. Not a bad thing just a fact.
All the non-Amazon Alexa Skill developers who run on the Alexa platform via their Skills, written originally for Amazon Echo’s, will now also be usable from any Alexa enabled device. Awesome for everybody.
The only other real player, Google, finally came out with their solution/device. Initially, they were not offering or providing free development kits to use on your devices. They were ambiguous at best about the subject. They have since embraced the idea. This is great as we need more than one solution.
But, I’m not sure it was in time. The Amazon value to the customer coupled with the synergy between the Amazon store and Amazon AWS/Echo is really strong. It’s entirely possible Amazon will determine when they can sell the Amazon Echo at $10 at a loss because the $ will be more from purchases later from Amazon’s store/AWS. Like their underpriced Dash buttons. This makes Alexa hard to beat.
We will all love adding Alexa in every device...And we will win, and Amazon will win, and the customer will win !!!!