BMW will rely on Amazon’s Alexa technology in the future

Amazon Echo

Instead of selling its own hardware, Amazon wants to sell its voice assistant Alexa to other companies in the future.

(Photo: AP)

Seattle bmw will be its next voice assistance software based on Alexa technology from Amazon develop. It should be available in the first vehicles within the next two years, as the companies announced on Wednesday. The Munich-based carmaker uses Amazon’s Alexa Custom Assistant solution, which various companies can use to develop their own voice assistants based on Alexa.

Amazon presented models of its Echo loudspeaker series as well as other functions for the Astro household robot presented last autumn at its annual innovation event.

The device is a kind of tablet on wheels with a camera and Alexa software. Among other things, the robot can be taught in the future to point out open windows and doors on its way through the household. By linking to Amazon’s Ring security technology, Astro can also “check” when the cameras report an intruder.

The astro robots are only available to selected users in the United States available. Amazon has already received hundreds of thousands of inquiries from interested parties, and there are bottlenecks in production, said Amazon Device Manager Dave Limp.

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Although the device was introduced a year ago, it is the “most advanced household robot that I know of,” he emphasized. At the same time, there are still problems with navigation in some situations, such as in rooms with large mirrors from floor to ceiling.

Amazon Device Manager Dave Limp

Alexa should become smarter and be able to create routines based on repetitions in user behavior.

(Photo: AP)

Amazon also provides a software interface for developers to make Astro more useful. Limp is convinced that in a few years there will be at least one robot of some kind in use in every household and wants to play a pioneering role with Amazon’s devices. The group is currently buying the robotic vacuum cleaner specialist under his direction iRobot.

Amazon Device Manager Dave Limp: Personalization is not an easy task

Other innovations include Alexa becoming smarter and creating routines based on iterations in user behavior. For example, if you regularly set the alarm for a specific time on fixed days, the software will suggest doing this automatically.

“When personalization actually works, it works like magic,” Limp said. At the same time, it is not an easy undertaking – even after 25 years of experience, you sometimes still get inexplicable purchase recommendations on Amazon’s trading platform.

Overall, Amazon wants to ensure that networked technology for the home remains useful for longer through software updates and does not have to be replaced. “What worries me in general is that as an industry, we spend a lot of time and money trying to convince consumers that they need to upgrade their tech every year or two,” Limp said.

More: How Apple, Amazon and Google want to help the smart home achieve a breakthrough

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