Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa may be leaving the smart speaker pond and diving into the PC ocean soon.
According to a CNET report, Lenovo has held meetings with Amazon to discuss Alexa’s possible integration into personal computers, as well as other devices that the Chinese technology company manufactures. The publication says that it sourced the information from a Lenovo executive who has knowledge of the meetings.
Some comment that it would be a big distribution deal for Alexa if both companies push through with the voice assistant’s integration into the PC platform. It would also be one of the first times in which Amazon would agree to license its own homegrown software to a device manufacturer.
However, Amazon’s talks with Lenovo regarding Alexa are still in their early phases. Moreover, granted the existence of Cortana, which is deeply embedded within Microsoft Windows and Google’s own voice assistant within Android, it remains to be seen how Lenovo plans to use Alexa within a PC environment, if it does at all.
“We consider things all the time and we’ve looked at it,” the Lenovo executive tells CNET. “But there’s nothing on the roadmap.”
Regardless of its future of being embedded in the PC and other devices, Alexa has already established a solid foothold within the smart speaker market. As of April this year, research firm CIRP, or the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, estimates that Amazon has sold more than 3 million Echo smart speakers since its introduction in late 2014. A third of the sales came during the 2015 holiday season.
While far from a blockbuster hit when it was first released, the Amazon Echo found more success down the road as more functionalities were added to Alexa, which highlights the importance of and overall interest that the voice assistant generates. In fact, Amazon is so happy with it that it decided to expand Alexa’s integration into other audio hardware products such as the Amazon Tap.
Alexa can be asked to play songs, hail a ride on Uber, manage smart devices such lights and thermostats, order food, read a book or an article, check one’s bank balance and even detail new features it received from its most previous update.
“Our research shows that more than half of Echo owners use the device as more than a voice-controlled music speaker,” says Josh Lowitz, partner and co-founder of CIRP. “Users report asking about weather and news, and controlling other connected devices.”
Third-party speaker manufacturers are also flocking to Amazon to have Alexa integrated into their products. Sonos and LG are some of the prominent ones. Other companies, such as Invoxia, have gone ahead of the pack and already have Alexa running on their hardware.
“There’s so much more to come,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says. “It’s just the tip of the ice berg.”
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