Launched in 2019 by Amazon, the Voice Interoperability Initiative (VII) brings together leading companies who are committed to providing customers choice and flexibility to interact with multiple voice services on one device. Since the launch, leading brands around the world have developed new and innovative multi-simultaneous wake word experiences to engage customers. This includes a few capabilities. First, Alexa Custom Assistant (ACA) is a solution that lets device makers and service providers use Alexa technology to create intelligent assistants tailored to their brand personality and customer needs. Additionally, Alexa can work simultaneously amongst compatible third-party voice assistants on an array of devices.
At CES 2023, we are excited to showcase the next generation of ambient experiences that empower customers with choice, while enabling businesses to develop new and innovative ways to connect with people around the world.
Here are seven brands who are building voice-enabled devices and systems that promote customer choice and flexibility through multiple, simultaneous wake words, and completely re-imagining the way customers engage with their brands.
Panasonic – Panasonic Automotive, a global expert in connected automotive infotainment solutions and division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, announced a joint collaboration with Amazon to update its SkipGen in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system by demonstrating an industry-first automotive integration that provides customers simultaneous access to "Hey Siri" in Apple CarPlay or Alexa by simply speaking either service’s wake word.
Amazon and Panasonic Automotive have collaborated to develop this integration for SkipGen, which is enabled by the Alexa Auto SDK and the “Hey Siri” feature for iPhone voice requests in Apple CarPlay. This ultimately increases customer value by providing simultaneous access to Siri and Alexa with their corresponding capabilities on a single system.
Hey Disney!: Amazon and Disney previously announced that they are teaming up to create Hey Disney!, an entirely new kind of voice assistant that will work alongside Alexa on supported Echo devices at home and in select Walt Disney World Resort hotel rooms. For the first time, Amazon is demoing Hey Disney!’s capabilities in-person during CES, showcasing to attendees the magic behind this highly anticipated assistant.
In-resort, the Hey Disney! magical companion is making the guest experience even more seamless, allowing them to do things like request more blankets or towels, or ask for park & transportation hours, resort amenities, and more. Additionally, this magical voice AI will provide customers access to hundreds of natural utterances featuring 25+ iconic Disney’s characters both in-resort and at home.
Disney began installing Echo family devices with the Hey Disney! Magical Companion in select hotel rooms within Disney's Polynesian Village Resort as part of an initial deployment.
Josh.ai: A home intelligence system with its own proprietary voice assistant, is furthering Amazon’s voice interoperability vision by promoting multi-simultaneous use of Alexa and its own voice assistant, offering greater functionality and flexibility for customers. While Josh.ai’s purpose-built assistant controls the smart home and its connected devices, customers can use Alexa simultaneously for a variety of voice requests they know and love to get information, manage day-to-day tasks, and seek entertainment – such as checking for the latest sports scores, managing shopping lists, and more.
Sonos: As one of the early members of the Voice Interoperability Initiative, Sonos shares the vision that customers should have choice and flexibility when interacting with voice services. By having the ability to activate both Sonos Voice Control and Alexa on the same compatible Sonos device, customers can decide which service to use based on the most appropriate use case. For instance, Sonos Voice Control can assist with multi-room playback and Sonos system controls from anywhere for a smooth and snappy listening experience. For example, customers can say “Hey Sonos, turn the volume down in the living room” - and also interact with Alexa to update their grocery list, check the weather, set timers, lock the door, and more.
Samsung: Samsung enables simultaneous access to both Bixby and Alexa on the Family Hub Refrigerators. Customers can interact with both voice services to accomplish a variety of tasks. Now, families can ask either Bixby or Alexa to engage with Samsung smart appliances and other compatible 3rd party devices, stream music, search for recipes, shop for essentials and more; all from your fridge.
LG: With the explosion of streaming services, there’s no paucity of shows to watch nowadays, and finding the right show can be difficult. That’s why LG teamed up with Amazon to let customers control their television sets by saying, “Hi, LG” or “Alexa,” to find, start and pause shows, in addition to doing the many things customers are able to do with Alexa.
Skullcandy: In early 2023, Skullcandy will push a firmware update to new and existing Push Active and Grind Series customers, adding Native Voice-enabled functionality, which allows these devices to have multiple voice services from different brands integrated, including Alexa.