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Amazon Alexa Gets Smarter and Smarter


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Amazon launched the Alexa Skills Kit a year ago to make it easier for developers to build for the platform. Which makes the latest update from Amazon even more staggering.

Amazon’s announcement is created to get even more developers jumping on board with Alexa plug-ins of their own, but the roster of current talent is impressive: Domino’s, Fitbit and Uber are three of the well-known services you can access through Alexa.

“We’re excited about the 1,000 skills that are already available”, said Pulciani.

Amazon has not disclosed sales figures for Echo, but the device appears to be having success in the market due, in part, to beating rivals out of the starting gate. Now when the skill is up, Alexa user will just need a voice command to activate the “skill” on any device, which is powered by Alexa.

Alexa was introduced when Amazon launched its first Bluetooth speaker, Amazon Echo. And Amazon says that as Alexa acquires new skills from more developers, the system continues to improve upon itself, “giving developers a new way to delight their customers with voice-enabled experiences”. “At Capital One, we’re continually exploring new ways to harness technology to help our customers confidently and securely manage their money, wherever they are”, said Ken Dodelin, Vice President of Digital Product Management, Capital One. “Bringing together Haiku Home by Big Ass Solutions and Alexa was a natural fit”, said Landon Borders, Director of Connected Devices at Big Ass Solutions. Developers can also download and develop the skills that can work on that Alexa enabled devices. When the skill store had 135 skills, this was not a problem. There are no categories or top charts and no way to bring the best apps to the front-and-center to capture users’ attention. You really do have to scroll through the pages to find what you want. Which is not that much of an issue with only 1,000 skills … but that is not likely to stay that low for much longer. Moreover, with Alexa being available on Internet browsers, the company has made it easier for developers to try out the new skills they teach; which makes acquiring new skills faster and convenient. And with four million units already sold, the Echo has a significant lead over its potential competitors.

A kit lets outside software developers create “experiences”, similar in concept to apps, for Alexa. Alexa works because she combines simplicity with an ability to get smarter.

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