After much anticipation, Amazon Alexa has now Finally Surfaced on Windows 10 PCs and will sit next to Microsoft’s preloaded Cortana assistant.
A few of the offerings which are being showcased at CES 2018 at Las Vegas will come with pre-installed Alexa app. Amazon and Microsoft partnered in August a year ago to allow Cortana and Alexa operate together.
Acer on Monday a media release that Alexa will come to select Aspire, Spin, Switch, and Swift notebook models as well as Aspire all-in-one PCs starting the first quarter this season. The Alexa integration in the US is going to be accessible with a software update through Acer Care Centre, but its wider availability is expected for sometime in the middle of 2018. Acer affirms that Alexa will let users manage their calendar, produce lists and answer questions by passing simple voice commands. The voice assistant will also enable a hands on experience for enjoying music, podcasts, audiobooks, and managing smart home devices like lighting, thermostats, and home appliances.
Particular models such as the Acer Switch 7 Black Edition and Twist 5 include Acer Purified Voice and four digital microphones support to enable far-field voice recognition. Also, the majority of the supported Acer convertibles and 2-in-1 notebooks have front-facing speakers. There is Intel Smart Sound Technology, that will be an integrated audio DSP (Digital Signal Processor) to take care of audio, voice, and speech interactions. These upliftments are available to improve Alexa experience. The business also unveiled the Acer V6820M/i 4K UHD projector, which also supports Amazon Alexa.
Comparable to Acer, HP also recently introduced the Pavilion Wave which is specifically designed to provide voice interactions powered by Amazon Alexa. The tower-like HP Pavilion Wave has Intel Smart Sound Technology that’s claimed to deliver 360-degree, multi-directional reflective audio. Similarly, there is a custom LED to signify Alexa’s activeness – like Amazon Echo speakers.
HP is launching the Alexa-backed Pavilion Wave in Spring this year with a beginning price of $549.99 (approximately Rs. 34,930).
In accordance with Mehedi Hassan of all Thurrott.com, Asus and Lenovo are additionally building new Windows 10 apparatus to deliver a widen availability of Alexa in the market of Windows PCs. It is worth mentioning here that Amazon has already made its powerful presence in the voice assistant world with more than 25 million Alexa Skills, whereas Microsoft’s Cortana has only 300 skills, as highlighted by Hassan. This interestingly makes Alexa a tougher competition for Cortana.
The Windows 10 accessibility of Amazon Alexa is also very likely to make matters tougher for Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri that both are yet to gain traction in the desktop marketplace. Google Assistant has enlarged in the smart speaker area, while Siri is so far packed from the ecosystem of Apple iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
Before this week, Amazon also launched Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit to deliver Alexa to Bluetooth-supported on-the-go devices like hearables, headphones, smartwatches and physical fitness devices among others. New York-based Vuzix already showcased the first Alexa-enabled augmented reality (AR) glasses that would go on sale at the second quarter this year with a price of around $1,000 (roughly Rs. 63,400).