It’ll soon be easier to make a list of things that Amazon’s Echo can’t do for you than all the things it can, especially now that Amazon is reportedly investing in TrackR, a company that helps you track your stuff.
As a “source familiar with the matter” told Reuters, the online retail giant is planning on investing between a quarter- and a half-million dollars with the Bluetooth technology firm, which may soon give Echo (and its associated virtual assistant, Alexa) the ability to help you find things like your keys, your phone, or maybe even your mind (well, not your mind).
Amazon differs from a number of other smart-home platforms in its willingness to let third-party devices integrate with Alexa. This has allowed the virtual assistant to expand its ecosystem rather extensively in the last several months, adding more and more Alexa-compatible devices to its roster. Indeed, with Amazon’s $100 million “Alexa Fund,” it’s no surprise that so many technologies have already hopped aboard this bandwagon.
Amazon has made roughly 15 investments so far through the Alexa Fund, including The Orange Chef (which brings kitchen-prep devices onto the Internet of Things) and Garageio (which makes your garage door smart).
With TrackR, Echo users would be able to attach a small Bluetooth tag to valuables and easy-to-misplace items, and then rely on Alexa to locate them. There’s no word yet as to how or when exactly an integration would occur, but it certainly seems like a logical move for both companies.
“The ability to bring on more partners and realize that you are building an entire ecosystem — I think that is what was really important for us,” Chris Herbert, who co-founded TrackR with friend Christian Smith in 2009, told Reuters. So if you find yourself constantly in search of something, just hold out for Alexa to help.
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