CES 2017: Amazon looks to expand the reach of its smart virtual assistant
Huawei’s Mate 9 flagship smartphone will be the first mobile device to have Amazon’s Alexa installed on it, marking another milestone in virtual assistant’s move beyond the Amazon Echo speaker.
The recently announced Huawei Mate 9 comes sporting an eight core processor and 4GB of RAM so it should have a more than healthy specification to run Alexa on top of Huawei’s tweaked version of Android.
Alexa enters smartphones
“Huawei and Amazon will collaborate to develop rich voice activated consumer experiences for mobile users,” the company said, though it did not shed much more light other than the initial integration of Alexa with the Mate 9.
Huawei will rollout Alexa to Mate 9 phones in the US and a few other markets, though the timing of such a move has yet to be revealed.
However, bringing Alexa into the smartphone arena will see the virtual assistant go up against the likes of Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana, with more potential completion form Samsung which is working on its own mobile virtual assistant.
Nevertheless, expanding the reach of Alexa is a solid move for Amazon as it gets the virtual assistant out of the smart home environment where It made its debut and into other environments, thus making it more attractive to developers looking to plug Alexa capabilities into their software, apps and products.
Alexa is also due to hit the road as the virtual assistant is coming to Ford cars via the car firm’s SYNC 3 infotainment system, which offers it another route on which Alexa’s capabilities can be expanded and its potential for integration with third-party software and services.
For Huawei, baking Alexa into the Mate 9 bypassed the need for the company to make its own virtual assistant or be reliant on the Google Assistant, which has yet to expand legitimately beyond Google’s own brand smartphones in the mobile market.
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