Bluetooth speakers. Smartwatches. Cars. Home intercoms. Amazon’s Alexa voice service is in just about everything these days, and the onslaught shows no sign of slowing. Nowhere has the trend been more evident than at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, where the number of Alexa-supported devices nearly exceeded our intrepid team’s ability to count them all. But that didn’t stop Digital Trends’s own David Cogen from trying.
Of the manufacturers that announced products with Alexa integration, LG topped the list in terms of sheer volume. It took the wraps off the InstaView Smart Fridge, a refrigerator that taps the virtual assistant for grocery ordering and to-do list compiling. And it debuted the LG Hub Robot, a home assistant that can dance along with music and display facial expressions on command.
LG’s Hub Robot wasn’t the only one bestowed with Alexa’s power of speech. Thanks to the power of Amazon’s cloud, the Lynx robot will support commands like setting reminders, playing music, and providing the daily weather report.
In terms of home electronics, Lenovo launched the cylindrical Smart Assistant Speaker at CES, a sort of beefed-up Alexa with eight far-field microphones, powerful treble speakers and subwoofers, and an audio profile optimized by Harman Kardon engineers.
Lenovo was far from the only company with an Alexa-enabled speaker up its sleeve. Jam Audio’s Jam Session speaker supports Alexa, as does Peel’s Aurora LifeStream speaker and Monster’s SoundStage speaker system.
Smart home products got a nod, too. Belkin’s WeMo dimmer switch now works with Alexa, as does Incipio’s CommandKit light switch.
Samsung’s PowerBot VR7000 autonomous sweeper will also have Alexa compatibility when it reaches store shelves later this year.
Alexa even made its way to smartphones and headsets. Huawei’s Mate 9 smartphone supports Alexa, as does Sensory’s software platform for wired and wireless headsets.
But not every Alexa-compatible device fits into the mold of home automation and personal audio. The Aristotle, a new combination speaker/baby monitor, will use a combination of artificial intelligence and natural language processing to chat with tykes, accept orders for baby supplies, and trigger lullabies to start playing when it detects crying.
The Coway AirMega Air Purifier, another Alex-enabled product that broke the mold, will supply updates on air quality, filter lifetime, fan speed changes, timer setup, and more with a simple series of voice commands.
The Linksys Velop, meanwhile, is one of the world’s first routers to boast Alexa integration. It’ll let users turn guest access on and off, obtain a guest Wi-Fi name and password, and even get network credentials.
Not to be outdone by the competition, Whirlpool said that many of its 2017 appliances will use Alexa for voice recongition. Ford announced that it’ll integrate Alexa into its Sync 3 car infotainment system. Volkswagen’s CarNet will also support Alexa, as will Inrix’s open car platform.
And DishNetwork will add Alexa to its hopper DVR.
What’s it all mean? If Alexa wasn’t listening to your conversations before, it definitely is now.
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