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September 01, 2018Ted Karczewski
Amazon Alexa continues to bring voice-forward capabilities to the home, at work, and on the go. At IFA 2018 in Berlin, we saw even more global device makers building with Alexa technology, enabling hands-free voice control for smart home appliances, PCs, headphones, soundbars, and more. Today, there are more than 20,000 Alexa-compatible smart home devices, a 5x increase from 4,000 at the end of 2017. And with more than 50 announcements of new voice-forward devices that either work with Alexa or feature Alexa built-in at IFA, we’re seeing even more unique Alexa implementations across ever-expanding categories.
Walking around the Messe Berlin at IFA this year you’ll find more than 70 device makers, including Lenovo, Sony, RIVA, and Toshiba demonstrating their Alexa integrations and experiences. Since 2014, Alexa has delighted customers and inspired hundreds of thousands of developers to build with voice. We’re excited by the innovative next-generation products displayed this year at IFA. If you're attending IFA this year, be sure to check out the Alexa booth located in Hall 26 / 201 in the IFA Next area. The booth features experiential displays, and it's open through September 5th.
Amazon invented the smart speaker category in 2014 with Echo, and since then it has enabled dozens of device makers to build Alexa into their own products. Leading up to and at IFA this year, we saw industry powerhouses like Bose launch three new devices (Home Speaker 500, Soundbar 700, and Soundbar 500) with Alexa built-in; Sony and Soundcore unveil on-the-go listening experiences created with the Alexa Mobile Accessory (AMA) Kit; Huawei introduce a smart home hub with Alexa; Toshiba preview new OLED and LED TVs with Alexa built-in, and many more OEMs announce new voice-forward wireless speakers, smart home devices, TVs, and more.
On Saturday, 1 September, VP of Smart Home at Amazon Daniel Rausch delivered his IFA keynote, highlighting the many ways that voice-forward devices have made our lives easier. It’s hard to believe that in just four years we’ve seen more than 3,500 brands start building Alexa-connected devices with the Smart Home APIs and development tools. Customer demand for voice-first interactions only continues to grow, driving new advancements in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud services. The result is a rapidly growing range of Alexa capabilities for customers and new opportunities for device manufacturers and skill builders.
At IFA, you can see the breadth of adoption on full display, from refrigerators and washing machines to security systems and lawn mowers. On the show floor, brands such as Bosch, Haier, Yale, and Tado are displaying their newly announced smart home devices that work with Alexa.
Earlier this year, we announced that Alexa was coming to PCs, providing customers with a natural way to access more information from their PC just by asking. Customers can manage their calendar, shop for household items, control smart home devices, and more — hands-free.
At IFA, a number of PC brands revealed new or expanded Alexa integrations, as well as that Alexa for PC is coming to new countries and regions. Dell announced that its Inspiron 7000 notebooks will ship Alexa-ready to the US, UK, and Germany. Lenovo announced that its Yoga C930 and Yoga S730 notebooks with Alexa built-in are coming to the US, UK, and Germany. Acer also unveiled that Alexa will be built into its Z 24, Aspire 7, and Aspire 5 notebooks, while MSI announced Alexa will be available on its GS65 laptop PC.
Dell, Lenovo, MSI, and Acer add to the growing number of computing models with Alexa built-in. Earlier this year, HP, ASUS, Acer, and Lenovo introduced models with Alexa functionality as well. We’re just getting started with the Alexa for PC experience, and we look forward to working with these device makers to provide customers with a more natural way to interact with their PCs and increase productivity.
Developers have also been busy creating Alexa skills. To date, developers have built and launched more than 50,000 skills. Through a series of free, self-service APIs, developers, companies, and hobbyists continue to find creative skill use cases. Best of all, developers don’t need a background in natural language understanding or speech recognition to get started with the Alexa Skills Kit.
Hundreds of thousands of device makers and developers around the world are building Alexa experiences with the Alexa Voice Service and Alexa Skills Kit. Create devices with Alexa built-in using the Alexa Voice Service, build devices that work with Alexa using the Smart Home Skill API, or teach Alexa new capabilities with the Alexa Skills Kit.