So far, we’ve seen Amazon‘s Alexa pop up in a few unusual places, like your web browser, smartphone apps and smartwatches. And the voice assistant platform showed up in a big way at the Consumer Electronics Show this year and stole the show.
It’s time to stop thinking of Alexa as just the brains of a speaker and more as an omnipresent system that’s about to further infiltrate your home, car, pockets and ears. Here are 14 places you can expect to see Alexa later this year.
Editors’ note: Originally published January 9, 2017, this article has been updated to include more new devices and services that will include Alexa.
New Alexa devices
This year, Amazon has significantly expanded its lineup of Alexa-powered speakers and devices. In 2016, we had the, Echo Dot, a second-generation and the . It also added Alexa capabilities to (fourth-generation and newer) and the and . In 2017 alone, Amazon has given us three new Alexa devices:
To be fair, though by less official means, Alexa has already made its way into the car. With the original take Alexa for a spin in the car.or and a hotspot, you could easily
However, both Ford and Volkswagen plan to incorporate Alexa into the infotainment systems in the dashes of upcoming cars. Such integration will allow users to lock and unlock their car using their voice, honk the horn, get status updates on the vehicle and more, as well as all of the standard functions of Alexa.
In addition to Ford and Volkswagen, Inrix will also be integrating Alexa into its OpenCar platform.
With Google Assistant’s integration with Seiki, Westinghouse and Element will be offering televisions with the Fire TV system built in, as well as remotes with microphones to interact with Alexa., it was only a matter of time before Amazon made Alexa play more nicely with televisions and its Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.
Also, Dish announced that its Hopper DVR boxes will come with voice-controlled channel surfing, powered by none other than Alexa. When these Alexa-powered Hopper DVR boxes land sometime in the first half of 2017, you will be able to search for specific shows, movies and actors using your voice. You will also be able to navigate the channel guide or jump to specific channels without lifting a finger.
Windows 10 computers
In an unlikely move,to make their respective digital assistants more powerful. Alexa and Cortana will work together to help tackle user commands more effectively. Users will be able to issue Alexa commands through Cortana by saying, “Hey Cortana, open Alexa.” Likewise, users can talk to Cortana through Alexa by saying, “Alexa, open Cortana.”
Thanks to this Alexa will be accessible from every Windows 10 computer via Cortana. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. (We didn’t either.)
LG, however, is taking a different approach by putting Alexa in its Smart InstaView Refrigerator. That means, not only will you be able to check in on the refrigerator, you will be able to order groceries, create a shopping list and control your smart home from the refrigerator itself.
We’ve come to expect Alexa to control your smart home devices, but the latest thermostat from Ecobee, the Ecobee4, is the first smart thermostat to come with Alexa built in. It has all the normal smart thermostat functions, but instead of simply integrating with Alexa, it is an Alexa speaker.
The Ecobee4 retails for $249 (converted, about £185 or AU$315).
Another smart home device to come bearing Amazon’s Alexa is the. The Sol will come with full Alexa support, meaning it will give you access to over 10,000 skills and any commands that work with a standard Alexa speaker. But being directly integrated with Alexa will give it some additional tricks, such as lighting up to show analog time around the light ring.
The Sol will retail for $200 (converted, about £150 or AU$250) when it launches in September.
When Ecobee announced the Ecobee4, it also quietly announced another smart device: a light switch. Like the thermostat, the Ecobee Smart Light Switch comes with Alexa built in. It also functions as an Ecobee sensor, which can relay to the Ecobee4 the room temperature, daylight and occupancy.
The Ecobee Smart Light Switch is not currently available and there is no set price or release date, but you can sign up for email updates on Ecobee’s Whole Home Voice landing page.
While Alexa has existed on both Android and iOS in an array of third-party applications, Huawei is the first to build Alexa directly into a phone’s software with the Mate 9 ($548.99 at Amazon Marketplace). You will be able to access Alexa on the Mate 9 as you would Siri on an iPhone or Google Assistant on a , and you will be able to order pizzas, call an Uber, control your smart home and anything else you typically do with an Alexa speaker.
And if you happen to have a bunch of devices to charge at night, the Dok Talk will charge up to five USB devices and act as a Bluetooth speaker, and it has a button on the top that will queue up Alexa.
Phones aren’t the only personal devices getting some Alexa love. Smartwatch manufacturers have sought to add Amazon’s assistant software to your wrist for some time now. Back in December, Martian announced it would. The iMCO and watches also have Alexa built in.
Amazon Shopping app
Back in March, Amazon updated the Amazon Shopping app for iOS. The update replaced the standard voice search with Alexa, making it possible to stream audiobooks or music, ask for weather or news and use a number of skills, all while using the Amazon app.
Just tap the microphone button to the right of the search bar and speak to the phone as you would any Alexa speaker. You can control smart home devices, ask Alexa to tell you a joke or ask for tracking updates for your packages. Currently, Alexa is only available in the Amazon app on iOS and no word was given on whether it will come to the Android app.
Taking the voice assistant integration one step further is Sensory, the company behind the hands-free voice control software found on some Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Instead of embedding Alexa in a device in your pocket, it’s integrating it into one you stick in your ear. Sensory is calling the technology VoiceGenie, which will allow you to access Alexa (and other voice assistant services like Siri, Google Assistant or Cortana) through Bluetooth headphones.
Similarly, the ONvocal OV, which looks like a mashup of LG Tones and the Plantronics Voyager of yore, is a set of earbuds with Alexa built in that sells for $399 (converted, about £295 or AU$500).
If it makes perfect sense to embed a voice assistant in a speaker, it makes just as much — if not more — to embed that same assistant in a baby monitor. That’s exactly what Nabi did with the Aristotle.
This baby monitor will lull your child to sleep, log wet diapers and feedings, automatically order more diapers or other supplies, play games and interact with your kid, read children’s books and much more. On top of that, it’s a fully functioning Amazon Alexa speaker that works exactly as you would expect it to.
While the Aristotle is powered by Alexa, it also has a secondary assistant, which you summon by saying, “Aristotle.”
Thanks to the Ubtech Robotics Lynx, Alexa has sprouted arms, legs and a face. You can interact with the humanoid the way you could normally with Alexa, but using cameras, it can recognize your face or give you a remote view of your home.
The Hubble Hugo, while also a robotic version of Alexa, wears many hats. It can act as a baby monitor, aiming to read your child’s emotions and playing a song to soothe them. With motion detection, 360-degree camera rotation and expandable storage, it works as a security camera, as well.