As technology seemingly never finds ways to stop evolving and adjusting to our needs, it appears that every industry will soon be altered to our convenience, so the fact that 22 million voice assistants were sold in 2017 alone seems quite ordinary.
The Amazon Echo device, more fondly known as Alexa due to the voice and persona inspired by Star Trek and the Library of Alexandria, is far from new with 11 million being sold in 2016 and a couple million more its first year on the market in 2015.
Commonly used to play music, share the weather forecast, set a reminder or create a shopping list, Alexa has been increasingly used to shop online. Amazon prime customers ask Alexa to place an order, where she searches through their order history and place the order.
Each voice assistant operates within its own commerce ecosystem. For Alexa, that’s the Amazon Marketplace. For online shoppers, that’s not much of a limitation: Amazon is the third largest retailer internationally, taking in 33.5% of all UK online sales in 2017.
A voice-controlled smart device such as Alexa could soon be giving house hunters the lowdown on properties for sale, thanks to a Mirfield-based estate agent. Christian Armitage, of estate agency Fast Move, based at Wheatley Park, is working with a company in India to perfect an app which will allow the likes of Alexa to provide a user with details of properties on the market.
“You could ask for details on all the properties in Huddersfield priced between, say, £350,000 and £400,000 that have come onto the market in the last 24 hours. Alexa could read them out or send you an email – or even make a booking for you to view a property.With the system in the car, you could be driving along and see an interesting property for sale, ask Alexa to provide information about it and by the time you get home there will be an email with the property details.”
Check out how we have started to integrate Alexa skills into Sorbet on our development blog here