FRESH THINK­ING Seat irst to plumb Alexa in-car

Ama­zon’s voice-con­trol sys­tem for mu­sic, nav and more

CAR (UK) - - Tech -

Do you like giv­ing or­ders? Seat has just the thing... Seat will be­come Europe’s irst car maker to o er Alexa, Ama­zon’s voice recog­ni­tion sys­tem, in a car, namely new Leons and Ate­cas by the end of 2017. Alexa? Sounds like a pro­foot­baller’s irst-born! Alexa is a bril­liant bit of kit, born of Ama­zon’s de­sire to cre­ate ‘Star Trek-like com­put­ing’ says the irm’s Ned Curic. Ba­si­cally, you ask Alexa to tell you the weather, or­der a Domino’s Pizza, or play a band on Spo­tify – and it hap­pens. Alexa ba­si­cally sends your voice com­mand to the Cloud, which de­codes it and typ­i­cally uses an app in your Alexa ecosys­tem to carry out the ac­tion. So what’ll she do in a Leon? Tap the steer­ing wheel mute but­ton to chat to Alexa, in more nat­u­ral ways than the tor­tu­ous com­mand lists of typ­i­cal in-car voice sys­tems. Say ‘Alexa, ask my Seat to nav­i­gate to McDon­ald’s’ and the nav will spring to life.

Us­ing Ama­zon’s open­source pro­gram­ming kit, Seat is de­vel­op­ing ‘skills’ for its cars, in­clud­ing dealer in­ter­ac­tions. Alexa runs through the car’s phone mi­cro­phone and stereo speak­ers, so the in­ter­face should feel slick.

So soon you’ll be able to op­er­ate your home’s in­ter­net of things lights/ heat­ing/garage door from your car’s driv­ing seat.

Do­mes­tic ver­sion (above) a huge hit; now Seat brings it to the spec list

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