The announcement came from Panasonic, which said the feature can function even if there is no internet connectivity.

Amazons Alexa comes to cars wearables and fitness devices to follow
Atom Technology Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 15:39

More excitement came from the CES 2018, as Amazon announced that the technology behind its AI-based home speaker Alexa can now be extended to cars. The device could take the driver’s orders to let him/her show the directions or to play a particular music. Named Onboard, the technology by Amazon can also execute a few more orders when fully developed and deployed for field use.

Interestingly, the announcement came from Panasonic, the first company off the blocks to partner with Amazon and it said the feature can function even if there is no internet connectivity. Panasonic calls this a ‘revolutionary’ development in technology.     

Though Amazon had worked earlier in the automobile space with companies like Hyundai and Ford, the new partnership with Panasonic is being seen as path-breaking since Panasonic is already holding a 11.5% market share in the in-car entertainment and information space. Studies have reported that the business of in-car infotainment is expected to reach over $30 billion by the year 2022.

What is more exciting to hear is that Amazon has expressed its intentions to extend the Alexa technology to wearables and fitness devices and beyond. The company has plans to integrate the AI-based digital assistant in the form of the Alexa mobile accessory kit with devices like headphones, smart watches and wristbands other hearable devices. It makes it easier for the OE manufacturers of these devices by doing away with the need for writing new codes.

Amazon’s statement in this regard reads “Bluetooth audio-capable devices built with this new kit can connect directly to the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) via the Amazon Alexa App (for Android and iOS) on the customer’s mobile device”.

Amazon’s Alexa virtually dominates the voice-based AI space with a 82% market share with Google Home way behind at 18%. In the home speaker segment also, Alexa-based devices sell around 70% in the US market, leaving the rest to be divided among the other players.   

On the basic technology level, Alexa has, for competition, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby. This intense rivalry among tech giants is only going to benefit customers worldwide. 

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