Amazon is going to take a new initiative where it will aim in making it easier for all its customers for interacting with the help of multiple voice assistants on a single device. This statement was officially announced by Amazon on Tuesday where it will be enabling Alexa for playing nice with Cortana and various other AI-powred assistants. Having said that there are some key players which are missing. This voice interoperability initiative was done by Amazon to bring more than 30 companies together who are devoted t let customers interacting with multiple voice assistants on just a single device. But the Google, Samsung or Apple which are the makers of popular voice assistants have not been included in this initiative.
Amazon’s SVP of devices and services, Dave Limp said, “As much as people would like the headline that there is going to be one voice assistant that rules them all, we don’t agree.” He even argued that having multiple voice assistants in a single device should work better as compared to others.
Various companies which build both hardware and software for voice assistants has collaborated with Amazon for this initiative. The name of the companies includes global brands such as Amazon, BMW, Baidu, Bose, ecobee, Cerence, Harman, Microsoft, Logitech, Salesforce Sonos, Sony Audio Group, Sound United, Spotify as well as Tencent. Apart from these, there are various telecom operators which include Orange, Free, Verizon as well as SFR. Hardware service providers like InnoMedia, Amlogic, NXP Semiconductors, Intel, MediaTek, Qualcomm Technologies, SGW Global, Inc and Tonly. And also the system integrators such as DiscVision, CommScope, LinkPlay, Libre, MyBox, StreamUnlimited, Sagemcom and Sugr.
Whether these companies are making their own voice assistant or building their own voice-enabled devices, all these companies are fully devoted to supporting various voice-based services through their corresponding wake words. One can make use of the Amazon Echo for speaking with Alexa.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said in a statement, “Multiple simultaneous wake words provide the best option for customers.” He further mentioned, “Utterance by utterance, customers can choose which voice service will best support a particular interaction. It s exciting to see these companies come together in pursuit of that vision.”
So as you have seen the list of the companies is very long but among all these companies, the three most reputed companies are missing from it which are non-other than Apple, Samsung as well as Google.
The companies which are on board seem to be chuffed if the quotes which are offered for the press release of Amazon are any signal. Intel stated that its 10th Generation chips will be working with “multiple assistants in this year itself.”. On the other hand, Qualcomm mentioned that its chipsets are capable enough to do multiple wake words.
Having said that Apple, Samsung as well as Google have made their own devices and they are also promoting their very own voice assistants. Not only this but also they have succeeded in its promotion. Google has stated in January that the Google Assistant is present in 1 billion devices all across the world. While a few weeks ago, Amazon has also mentioned that its Alexa is present on over 100 million devices.
Apart from Google, Apple as well as Amazon, Samsung is engaged in making their own smartphones. As per the research was done by Juniper Research, smartphones are the biggest platform for the voice assistant access. Having said that Juniper also mentioned that in future the fastest growing devices for the voice assistant access will be smart speakers, SmartTV, as well as smart wearables among which Alexa is already working.
Amazon is working hard to make its device more flexible to its customers. Mariana Zamoszczyk, senior analyst for Smart Living at Ovul said, “They do not want to be locked into using specific voice service. That means we are going to see more households become multi assistant environments. This trend means that device makers and AI developers need to prioritize interoperability with other services and work to deliver differentiated, personalized experiences through their own products or assistants.”
Amazon has also mentioned about its voice interoperability initiative where it has said about its 4 priorities:
- To develop voice services which can operate without any hassle with others by protecting security and privacy to its customers.
- To build voice-enabled devices which promote flexibility via simultaneous and multiple wake words.
- To launch new technologies and services which can make it easier for the people in integrating multiple voice services in just a single device.
- Promoting machine learning AI research for improving quality, breadth as well as interoperability of voice services.
For integrating all these voice services on a single product, Amazon has collaborated with various hardware service providers which we have already mentioned above. All these companies are fully dedicated to developing products as well as services which can make it easier and affordable for OEMs for supporting those wake words.
CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff writes, “We look forward to working with Amazon another industry leader to make Einstein Voice, the world’s leading CRM assistant, accessible on any device.” On the other hand, R & D officer of Spotify mentioned, “We are excited to join the Voice Interoperability Initiative, which will give our listeners a more seamless experience across whichever voice they choose, including the ability to ask for Spotify directly.” By this, we can see that the other companies are eagerly waiting to get their voice assistants on Echo devices.
To this news, Google has also reacted by saying that they were not told about this initiative of Amazon. Google mentioned, “We just heard about this initiative and would need to review the detailed but in general we are always interested in participating in efforts that have the broad support of the ecosystem and uphold strong privacy and security practices.”
This announcement was made one day before Amazon’s hardware event.