I got my Alexa device as soon as they made it available in India. I played around with it as a user initially, but soon the technology kid in me took over and started developing skills.
A few things I learnt, which I did not know before about Alexa are:
- There is a history of all the commands we give Alexa. Wait, this is not the usual history with text, it also stores the exact audio recording of the voice command given to Alexa. This is scary – when you realise that they have proof of every interaction you ever had with Alexa 🙂
- I can now listen to my books on Kindle using Alexa. Earlier I used to buy books on Audible for more than 15USD. Now, it is less than 5USD, delivered to my phone, plus read to me by Alexa 😉
- There is a whole new world of Visual User Interface / Visual User Experience (VUI/VUX) which has to mature as it has been least explored so far.
- They have separated the skills by region. This means, when I build a skill for India, it will not be available for consumption in US or Europe. I am not sure if this is a good move, but it is an interesting move. I guess it will keep content geography centric and provider more accurate results.
A few topics where I am still pondering over the long term business strategy are:
- Without the ability to have the same Alexa voice skills in my phone, I am limited to using Alexa in the house (may be, like some of my friends, I should also get a Alexa Dot for every room.)
- Without the ability to communicate using a picture or a video, I am limited to voice based interactions only. May be the future versions of Alexa will come with a camera (or better if Alexa phone is launched!!)
I am comparing Alexa with Hey Siri and OK Google (and to certain extent Watson too) to see how they will compete in the long run.
Will publish some skills on Alexa, that I hope will be useful for everyone.
Meanwhile, I am still thinking of making life easy for any one to extend their existing conventional services (such as websites) to be extended to work with these voice enabled systems.
Due to this level of fascination I have with these products, hence the title – Alexa is amazing – because it simply is.