After much anticipation, Amazon Alexa has eventually debuted on Windows 10 PCs and will sit alongside Microsoft’s preloaded Cortana Helper.
A few of the offerings that are being showcased at CES 2018 at Las Vegas will come with pre-installed Alexa program. Amazon and Microsoft partnered in August a year ago to allow Cortana and Alexa work together.
Acer on Monday a press release that Alexa will come to pick Aspire, Spin, Switch, and Swift laptop models as well as Aspire all-in-one PCs beginning the first quarter this year. The Alexa integration in the US will be available with a software upgrade through Acer Care Centre, but its wider availability is anticipated 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 helper will even enable a hands-free experience for playing audio, podcasts, audiobooks, and handling smart home devices such as lights, thermostats, and appliances.
Particular models like the Acer Shift 7 Black Edition and Twist 5 include Acer Purified Voice and four electronic microphones support to enable far-field voice recognition. Additionally, the majority of the supported Acer convertibles and 2-in-1 notebooks have front-facing speakers. There is Intel Smart Sound Technology, which is an integrated audio DSP (Digital Signal Processor) to handle audio, voice, and language interactions. These upliftments can be found to enhance Alexa experience.
Similar to Acer, HP also lately unveiled the Pavilion Wave that is especially designed to offer voice connections powered by Amazon Alexa. The tower-like HP Pavilion Wave includes Intel Smart Sound Technology that’s claimed to provide 360-degree, multi-directional reflective sound. Similarly, there is a habit LED to signify Alexa’s activeness – similar to Amazon Echo speakers.
HP is starting the Alexa-backed Pavilion Wave in Spring this season with a beginning price of $549.99 (approximately Rs. 34,930).
In accordance with Mehedi Hassan of all Thurrott.com, Asus and Lenovo are also building new Windows 10 apparatus to deliver a widen accessibility of Alexa in the market of Windows PCs. It is worth mentioning here that Amazon has made its powerful presence in the voice helper world with more than 25 million Alexa Skills, whereas Microsoft’s Cortana has merely 300 abilities, as highlighted by Hassan. This interestingly makes Alexa a tougher competition for Cortana.
The Windows 10 availability 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 is already expanded in the wise speaker space, while Siri is so much packed from the ecosystem of Apple iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
Earlier this past week, Amazon also launched Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit to bring Alexa into Bluetooth-supported on-the-go devices such as hearables, headphones, smartwatches and physical fitness devices among others. New York-based Vuzix already showcased the first Alexa-enabled augmented reality (AR) glasses that could go on sale at the second quarter this year with a cost of around $1,000 (roughly Rs. 63,400).