Amazon Echo is a successful device in the US. (the only market the Echo is available yet) But what if Alexa, the voice interface technology behind Echo, gets integrated in as many household gadgets as possible?
That, make no mistake, is the goal Amazon is aiming for. Selling Echos is nice, but that is not there the big money is going to be. That is going to come with all the items we are going to order via voice.
Last year, when the investment of the Alexa fund in Invoxia, France based maker of Triby, became public, I wrote:
One can get a glimpse into why the Alexa fund is attractive for startups in this paragraph from Rude Baguette:
> As Triby seeks to stay above water as an alternative communication tool for families – one which will compete not only with traditional tools like the land line & digital tools like Skype, but also with up and coming startups like Ily, which French entrepreneur Ilan Abehassera launched this past Summer – creating technology partnerships with big players like Amazon, who already have a foot in the connected home, will be crucial.
Amazon already “has a foot in the connected home”, a platform to connect to and is a large online retailer and it might even help you with AWS if you need that. If your startup faces strong competition the money from the Alexa fund is more of a formality. The real deal is what Amazon has strategically to offer.
Now the fruits of that investment are ripe. Triby is now with Alexa integration available in the US.
From the press release:
Triby is a fun addition to any family, transforming the way they connect with the content and people they love. Triby is a digital assistant, Internet radio, connected speaker, hands-free speakerphone, and connected message board all rolled into one! And now with Alexa, customers have hands-free voice control for information from Wikipedia and the web, weather, timers and alarms, news, shopping/to-do lists, sports updates and scores, smart home features, calendar entries, IFTTT, and much more—with new skills being added every week. To learn more about Alexa on Triby, visitwww.amazon.com/triby.
As the first non-Amazon product with a built-in Alexa experience, Triby gives families unprecedented access to new and exciting services. Simply say “Alexa, play Adele” and Triby can play Adele from Prime Music, say “Alexa, add milk to my list” and Triby will add it to your shopping list, or “Alexa, turn off the kitchen lights” and Triby becomes a way to access and control the smart home.
In essence, the Alexa integration changes Triby as a product fundamentally. Before the integration Triby was a communication device with its own network. Expensive but easy to use for extended families.
Now with full Alexa integration, Triby is essentially an Echo alternative with additional functionalities like the before mentioned communications network for families. (Obviously Alexa integration is US only for now.)
For Amazon this means that for the first time people can choose which device they want to buy to use Alexa at home.
Expect this to be a theme for Alexa for the next years. Within a year there will almost certainly be a wide array of devices customers will be able to choose from.
Remember, the goal is to make Alexa ubiquitous in the “Smart Home”.
The incentives are high enough for this platform to expand rapidly on the hardware side now. (Which is a really impressive achievement by Amazon, by the way.)
For more on Amazon’s platform strategy read our primer on how the company proceeded to establish the Echo and Alexa as a platform and why the online retailer is doing that in the first place.
On a sidenote: Triby first started as a Launchpad product.
Amazon is establishing itself as a very startup friendly online retailer. For consumer electronics this is far more important strategically than most anticipate. (And Triby may be one example why, if the device gets traction that is.)
- Amazon’s Alexa Fund Invests in Smart Home Communication Device Triby
- Post-PC Online Retail: Why and How Amazon is Building the Alexa Voice Platform
- 3 Million Echoes: Why Amazon’s Alexa Voice Platform Is Here To Stay
- How Amazon built the Echo
- Screenless E-Commerce: Amazon Echo Is A New Interface To The Internet
- Why Ford and Others Are Going to Integrate Amazon Echo/Alexa
- The More the Merrier: Amazon Alexa Comes to Original Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
- Amazon’s Alexa and Dash Replenishment Service – A Level of Convenience Unseen Before
- What Amazon Might Try To Get Into Android Phones At ‘Factory Level’: Alexa