In a recent interview with The Verge, Amazon senior vice president of devices and services Dave Limp revealed that the company and other third-party manufacturers have sold over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices since the original Echo hit virtual shelves in 2014.
This is a massive figure for Amazon to release since the e-commerce giant generally keeps its Alexa-focused sales numbers pretty close to its chest.
While Google may end up coming out on top, it’s worth noting that millions of Google Assistant-enabled devices are Android smartphones, and almost all Alexa-enabled devices are either Amazon Echo products or third-party smart speakers and gadgets.
The Verge reported that there are more than 150 individual Alexa-enabled products, as well as 4,500 different manufacturers that make devices controllable by Alexa and 70,000 developers that have created Alexa Skills.
Limp also offered insight regarding what’s next for Amazon and Alexa.
The company has a “singular focus on [the] idea of an ambient user interface and where that makes the most sense,” said Limp in an interview with The Verge.
For Amazon, that meant starting in the home and then moving to cars.
Amazon reportedly wants Alexa devices to become a significant player in the ambient computer space. To do that, it has to be everywhere, according to The Verge.
This line of thought leads into the focus that the company is taking on all aspects of Alexa.
“We started with an app store-like metaphor for Skills, not because we think that was right, but because that’s what we could do quickly,” said Limp to The Verge.
Instead, he said that Amazon is gearing Alexa and the Skills store to be more conversational.
Ideally, this means that users might one day be able to buy and connect an Alexa-enabled device without a companion app, which would be a significant advance in ambient computing.
Limp also mentioned that Amazon isn’t trying to build a walled garden. Instead, the company is open to the idea of Alexa being on more devices, even working together with other virtual assistants, which could lead to progression in the digital assistant space too.
Source: The Verge