|Alexa Comes to PCs and Accessory Devices|
|Written by Lucy Black|
|Monday, 08 January 2018|
Amazon's Alexa will soon be available on the latest Windows 10 PCs alongside Microsoft Cortana. In addition, the newly announced Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit will give devs new way to bring Alexa to portable, on-the-go devices such as headphones, smart watches and fitness devices.
After a planned Amazon - Microsoft initiative to integrate their respective Alexa and Cortana digital assistants put Alexa onto PCs by the end of 2017 failed to happen, Amazon is going ahead down an alternative route to make Alexa available on PCs by partnering with manufacturers including Acer, Asus, Lenovo and HP.
The HP Pavilion Wave will be the first PC to ship with Alexa on board. This computer looks like a speaker and is being updated to incorporate Intel Smart Sound Technology which allows for 360-degree reflective audio capable of capturing the sound of a voice from any angle. It is also being kitted out with a custom LED that lets you know when Alexa is listening. HP says that the updated Pavilion Wave will ship in the Spring with a starting price of $549.99.
In its announcement ahead of CES in Las Vegas that kicks off tomorrow, Acer reveals that Alexa will be coming to some of the latest Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks, as well as Aspire all-in-one PCs starting from Q1 2018. Initially the feature will be available in the US via an update through Acer Care Center and wider support is expected to be rolled out mid-2018.
According to the press release owners of compatible Acer notebooks and desktops will be able to get more done by asking Alexa to check their calendar, create lists and answer questions; will be entertained by asking Alexa to play their favorite music, podcasts or audiobooks; and will be able to manage smart home devices by controlling lights, thermostats and home appliances through voice commands to Alexa.
Acer's new wireless projectors also support Amazon Alexa. After enabling the Acer Projector Smart Home skill on either an Echo device or a compatible PC Alexa will respond to commands such as: “Alexa, turn on the projector,” “Alexa, select HDMI as the projector source,” or “Alexa, change projector display mode to bright.”
Amazon has also announced the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit which will enable OEMs to add Alexa to devices such as hearables, headphones, smart watches and fitness devices without having to start from scratch with coding for Alexa integration. Instead Bluetooth devices will connect directly to the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) via the Amazon Alexa App (for Android and iOS) on the customer’s mobile device. Customers who connect their devices with the Amazon Alexa App will have access to all the features available through AVS, including streaming media, smart home capabilities, calendar management, weather updates, and thousands of Alexa skills. Several OEMs, including Bose, Jabra, iHome, Beyerdynamic, Bowers and Wilkins are already working on voice-controlled Alexa experiences on their products and device makers are invited to signup to be notified when the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit is made available later this year.
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|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 January 2018 )|