Amazon is rolling out a new feature to its Echo smart speakers that will let users train the Alexa voice assistant to distinguish members of a household.
Amazon is rolling out a new feature to its Echo smart speakers that will let users train the Alexa voice assistant to distinguish between the members of a household, according to The Verge.
Google added this feature, dubbed “Voice Match,” to its Assistant this past spring and again highlighted it at its recent hardware event, and Amazon catching up could be critical to maintaining its lead in the smart speaker market.
By reading 10 phrases aloud to an Echo, users can give the voice assistant the ability to tell who’s speaking to it. This is a key advantage for a smart speaker for a number of reasons:
Whether Amazon’s implementation of personalized voice recognition will match Google’s remains to be seen, and could determine the impact this new feature has on the smart speaker market. Google Assistant’s voice recognition and response have outpaced Alexa’s thus far, though that hasn’t impacted overall device sales greatly. With Google introducing new, lower-priced devices like the Google Home Mini, though, it could be in a position to challenge Amazon’s installed base advantage. Improving Alexa is key in maintaining its position atop the smart speaker market, and this addition an important step in that direction.
Smart speakers — Amazon's Echo, for example — are the latest device category poised to take a chunk of our increasingly digital lives. These devices are made primarily for the home and execute a user's voice commands via an integrated digital assistant. These digital assistants can play music, answer questions, and control other devices within a user's home, among other things.
The central question for this new product category is not when they will take off, but which devices will rise to the top. To answer this question, BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, surveyed our leading-edge consumer panel, gathering exclusive data on Amazon's recently released Echo Show and Echo Look, as well as Apple's HomePod.
Peter Newman, research analyst for BI Intelligence, has put together a Smart Speaker report that analyzes the market potential of the Echo Look, Echo Show, and HomePod. Using exclusive survey data, this report evaluates each device's potential for adoption based on four criteria: awareness, excitement, usefulness, and purchase intent. Finally, the report draws some inferences from our data about the direction the smart speaker market could take from here.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
In full, the report:
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