Amazon's voice-controlled assistant Alexa had another big year at the Consumer Electronics Show. Companies near and far added Alexa to their smart home, mobile, and even automotive products. If you thought Alexa was already everywhere, you're sadly mistaken.
The Alexa Voice SDK gives device makers, app writers, and developers the ability to smarten up their offerings with Alexa. The bulk of the new devices to feature Alexa integration are smart home and Internet of Things type gear -- think home security and environmental controls -- but there were a few surprises as well.
First, some audio products. Archos, Boss Audio, Klipsch, Jabra, and JBL all added Alexa to their entertainment products. The Jabra Elite 85h and JBL Live Series headphones allow listeners to ask Alexa for help with a quick touch to the ear cup.
LG, Samsung, and Vizio are among some of the television makers bringing Alexa to their latest sets. Vizo, for example, has integrated Alexa with its SmartCast 3.0 tool, and also allows Alexa devices to control the TV itself. Later this year Vizio will add the ability to launch apps using Alexa.
The list of smart home devices with Alexa is a long one. Amazon-owned Ring added Alexa to the Ring alarm ecosystem. Now, people with certain types of locks from Shlage and Kwikset can ask Alexa to unlock the front door. Alexa can control Currant's new Smart Wall Outlet, adding on/off functionality to anything plugged into the outlet. Whirlpool is adding Alexa to its Smart Counter Display and its robotic laundry folding machine, letting people set timers and more.
One of the bigge eyeopeners is the number of automotive products looking to add Alexa's smarts. Here navigation, for example, will add Alexa to in-car navigation systems, giving drivers the power to use their voice for plotting routes. Telenav is doing much the same thing, as is Abalta WebLink. Qualcomm intends to use Alexa on its new in-car Snapdragon platform.
LG's latest refigerators' integration with Alexa brings the future a little bit closer. The ThinQ platform is not only able to determine when certain items are running low, such as your milk, but Alexa can help owners re-order select food items via the Amazon Dash button.
Amazon's choice to let others build on its platform is working. Who knows what will add Alexa next.