Amazon’s Alexa is coming to Windows 10 PCs from HP, Asus and Acer
Amazon’s Alexa is coming to Windows 10 PCs later this year, with HP, Asus and Acer announcing compatibility on select models at CES 2018.
The roster of products to support Amazon’s AI assistant will include the HP Pavilion Wave, Asus’ ZenBook and VivoBook line, as well as Acer Spin, Swift Switch and Aspire notebooks.
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The announcement comes hot, or rather lukewarm, on the heels of last summer’s alliance between Amazon and Microsoft, whereby the two internet giants pledged to integrate their voice assistants (Alexa and Cortana respectively) by the end of 2017. That ship has lamentably sailed, although this revelation proves an interesting contingency plan.
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The idea with Amazon’s latest venture is that the company will release a special Alexa app in the coming months, with laptop manufacturers honing Intel’s Smart Sound tech, ensuring that users’ voices will be picked up by the app, even when they’re not right next to their computer.
The voice assistant’s VP testified to the eminent practicality of the setup in a statement, saying, “[h]ands-free access to Alexa on PCs can be helpful to customers in many ways, like making it simple to interact with your smart home, get news or weather, set timers, and more.”
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The new Alexa integration shirks the earlier pledge made by Amazon and Microsoft to conflate their two brands. Instead, an entirely separate app will be made available to selected models, letting users access information in a way not dissimilar to how it’s done on an Amazon Echo or other third-party devices.
Perhaps, most interestingly, the newly integrated PCs will show findings onscreen, as well as audibly delivering information, with other Alexa integrations only able to perform the latter.
If this sounds like Alexa on steroids, there are caveats: PCs and laptops running the app will forgo some of the software’s functionality, including messaging, calling, Spotify, Amazon video and controlling security cameras and other smart-home devices.
Details of the app’s release date and viability (will it, for example, function on any old Windows 10 PC?) aren’t exactly abounding at the moment, although big reveals are expected soon. As CES 2018 continues, we’re expecting to learn more from Amazon, so stay tuned for updates.