Ama­zon to team up with Ap­ple, Google for Alexa voice as­sis­tant

Business Standard - - TECHNOLOGY - SPENCER SOPER AND EMILY CHANG

Ama­zon is will­ing to team up with com­peti­tors Ap­ple and Al­pha­bet’s Google if it would help im­prove cus­tomers’ ex­pe­ri­ence with its Alexa voice-ac­ti­vated vir­tual as­sis­tant, an ex­ec­u­tive work­ing on the plat­form said.

The on­line re­tailer, which is al­ready work­ing with Microsoft on pro­duc­tiv­ity fea­tures for Alexa such as cal­en­dar in­ter­ac­tions, will put the user first in pur­suit of any other part­ner­ships, said Toni Reid, Ama­zon’s vice pres­i­dent of Alexa and Echo de­vices, who has been on the team since 2014.

“We are su­per pas­sion­ate about the cus­tomer ap­proach,” Reid said Wed­nes­day in a taped in­ter­view with Bloomberg TV’s Emily Chang.

The Seat­tle­based re­tailer has 5,000 peo­ple work­ing on Echo home speak­ers and the Alexa plat­form that pow­ers the de­vices, Reid said. Ama­zon sees uses for voice-ac­ti­vated de­vices in ev­ery room of the home, as well as in cars and ho­tels, she said.

Ama­zon’s ri­vals al­ready have com­pet­ing prod­ucts: Ap­ple is set to rollout its own HomePod smart speaker with Siri, its dig­i­tal as­sis­tant, later this year, and Google’s range of Home de­vices come equipped with the in­ter­net giant’s vir­tual helper. BLOOMBERG

The re­tailer has 5,000 peo­ple work­ing on Echo home speak­ers and the Alexa plat­form that pow­ers the de­vices

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