Amazon is working hard to add functionality to its Amazon Echo in hope of creating a viable cornerstone for its smart home platform.
There is almost no week without a new partnership being announced. The newest one is Yelp.
Echo has already had an extremely limited local search toolset — owners could ask for local weather forecasts or local traffic information between two points. Now, owners can also get information about local businesses with the data that Echo provides coming from Yelp.
After you do a voice search, the Echo/Alexa mobile app will show you the search results with additional information including Yelp’s star ratings.
Would surely be nice for Amazon to own the mobile operating system to make this even more seamless..
Here are some of the past partnerships and new features that have been added to Amazon Echo:
- Amazon Echo now plays music, books from multiple accounts; gains BART schedules
- Amazon’s new Alexa Lighting API opens up Echo voice control for smart lighting to developers
- Samsung SmartThings Supports Amazon Echo
- Amazon Echo updated to read audiobooks purchased through Audible
- Amazon Echo adds ability to re-purchase previously bought items from Amazon via voice
- Amazon Echo update adds Pandora, iTunes, and Spotify voice control
- Amazon Echo now supports Wink-controlled smart home hardware
- IFTTT: Introducing the Amazon Alexa Channel
Add to this the Alexa Fund for devices and apps with integration into Echo/Alexa and you can see a very strong start to a platform.
The other parts of Amazon’s very unique Smart Home strategy are the Dash and the Dash Buttons which in concert with the Echo platform hint at the reinvention of online retail by Amazon for at least some product categories like household goods and groceries.