Move over Siri and get out of the way Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa Voice is here and she’s ready to go toe to toe in a battle for the best virtual assistant. The Alexa Voice Service acts as a standalone software that developers can integrate into any connected device. Once integrated, customers can speak to Alexa through a microphone or speakers. Currently, developers can preview the software for free and have access to a collection of self-service tools, documentation, APIs and code samples to help enhance device integration and voice experiences for their customers.
This is no mere crowd funded venture for Amazon. This is a seriously worthy investment of up to $100 million to support developers, manufacturers, and start-ups. They have also invested heavily in marketing and advertising for Alexa Voice with commercials already running on some of the top cable networks.
So how does Alexa Voice stack up against Cortana and Siri? Alexa Voice was conceptualized based off of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker. Like Cortana and Siri, Alexa can tell you the weather, give you traffic conditions, play music, but unlike Siri or Cortana, it can also control connected lights and other smart appliances too. However, there is one major downside, for now Alexa is just a desktop speaker, while Cortana and Siri are always in the palm of your hands. This can and probably will quickly change once developers begin to create and integrate the Alexa Voice software creating unparalleled devices, and experiences for customers. Amazon’s Alexa Voice carries endless possibilities for developers with the ability of cloud-based voice that will extend the device capability, and frictionless interfaces for a more natural language voice interface.
Cortana nor Siri are taking the news of Alexa Voice lying down. Microsoft announced plans to unveil Cortana on both Android and iPhone platforms later this year. For those currently with Android OS that are apart of their private beta (184.108.40.206) program, you can now download and activate Cortana instead of Google Now by pressing and holding your Android home button. Furthermore, with the release of Microsoft’s new Windows 10 OS, Cortana is now in the homes of millions of users, and Microsoft is doubling down that she will become their greatest advantage. Not to be outdone by Microsoft, Apple has also hinted that they are testing a new voicemail service that may rely on Siri to automatically answer calls or transcribe voice messages. No official timetable for release but this could help Siri stay relevant. As the battle continues for the best virtual assistant, the only clear winner are customers.