Amazon is extending its virtual assistant service Alexa to its tablet products, including the $49 Fire tablet and the two Fire HD models. With an over-the-air update, Fire tablet users can now long press the home button to activate Alexa, allowing them to make use of the over 3,000 “skills” that the voice-based personal assistant is currently capable of.
This update also adds a visual component to Alexa, as text-based information cards will now show up on the tablet screens to accompany Alexa’s answers for certain skills. Moreover, those who own a Fire tablet and an Echo device will be able to sync up Alexa across devices so that they can enjoy the typical hands-free experience of summoning Alexa while also receiving supporting visual information on their tablet.
What Brands Should Do
As Amazon continues to improve Alexa’s functionality and expand it to more devices, it is quickly establishing itself as a leader in the digital assistant market. The addition of information cards allows developers and brands to incorporate a visual component into their Alexa skills and enhance the user experience. For instance, this feature should be helpful for Alexa-assisted shopping as it can provide customers with product previews. Boosted by the addition of visuals, the type of conversation-based interactions that Alexa enables is poised to drastically change how consumers get information and interact with brands.
The Lab has extensive experience with building Alexa skills and helping brands navigate the new realities that conversational interfaces are set to bring. If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out and schedule a visit to the Lab. For additional information on how brands can effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, please check out the first section of our Outlook 2016.
Source: The Verge
Header image is a promotional image courtesy of Amazon