Amazon denounced no fewer than 12 new products yesterday in a AI-fed voice-powered intelligent home extravaganza. That’s extraordinary innovation, though it also highlights a company’s outrageous and pervasive weakness.
And no product exemplifies it some-more than Echo Auto.
Echo Auto brings Alexa to your car, so we can get weather, directions, and song from Amazon on a go. And supplement things to your selling list, of course, solve elementary math questions, and ask Alexa silly questions. (We’re all kids during heart.)
Or … “drop in” on friends around Amazon’s phone deputy service.
And there we have it. The phone.
Google and Apple don’t need to betray a dozen, or a hundred, or a thousand inclination with a Google Assistant or Siri built in. That’s since anyone with a phone already has entrance to possibly AI partner already, if not both during a same time. It’s built-in. Always available. Always near. And that’s since Google and Apple jointly possess a three-foot device: a device that never leaves your side, a smartphone.
If that’s not good enough, Apple Watch or Android Wear inclination give we entrance to intelligent assistance wherever we go, whenever we want, with or but your phone.
But all of this is only a opening push of a subsequent large computing height battle.
Amazon’s problem in a new epoch of large mobile expansion was that a Seattle-based association mislaid a mobile war. Simply put, a Fire smartphone didn’t take off. It had no confirmed ecosystem advantage over iOS or Android, in annoy of a attempts during re-creating a Google Play store.
That put a Seattle-based association during a critical disadvantage.
So, like any good Art of War strategist, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stopped personification a diversion he couldn’t win.
Instead, Amazon altered a diversion with Echo, holding a voice-first dive into a nascent epoch of ambient computing. Ambient computing is where we’re headed: when comprehension is on offer all around us, during any time, in any place, but a need for manifest hardware or a specific intervention device.
Like a computer.
Or a phone.
While Echo now has earthy incarnations — and a Echo Auto is a preeminently misfortune instance of this … a dongle for your car! — it thrives on integration into everything. As in, each thing.
Hence a Alexa-enabled cameras. Clocks. Fridges. Mirrors. Lights. Doors. Even … yes even toilets.
This is not Intel Inside.
This is comprehension inside, pleasantness of Amazon.
And carrying schooled a doctrine with a Fire smartphone, Amazon has focused tough on a ecosystem, holding advantage of a first-mover standing in a voice-first world, and built a so-far-unsurpassed 50,000 skills. Which means that Amazon is personification jiu-jitsu, not boxing, and is seeking to spin a biggest debility — also-ran status in a many personal (so far) of all personal computing inclination — into a biggest strength in a subsequent vital computing paradigm.
Whether it succeeds is questionable, of course.
Google and Apple are not unknowingly of a challenge, and Google privately has responded energetically with large placement of Google Home inclination — outselling Amazon in some new quarters, nonetheless Amazon still has more commissioned base.
Plus, Google is relocating fast to get a Google Assistant into each consumer device for only a few dollars.
But another plea is a just-start-to-emerge intelligent eyeglasses computing platform, that will really expected adopt mobile’s climax as a default interface between us and a digital ecosystem in a few years, and will similarly intercede a interactions with a genuine universe only as much, around protracted existence and churned reality.
Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others are investing heavily into this new platform. Amazon? It’s not so clear.
We live in engaging times.