Alexa is everywhere in tech: there are now hundreds and millions of Alexa-fueled products, from 9,500 different brands, in consumer’s hands. With content from A-list producers like Apple, Disney and YouTube — all available on Amazon streaming products — it’s impossible to deny how this powerhouse has seeped into every pore of the industry and our lives.
So what is Amazon doing with Alexa next? At CES, Amazon announced the voice assistant is coming to more cars, more TVs, more speakers, more computers, and just about any other tech product you can think of.
Amazon’s most interesting new initiative is bringing Fire TV to cars, starting with with BMW and Fiat Chrysler. Alexa has been available in cars for a while — it’s already built into many models, and Alexa support can be added with many auto accessories — but this is more. Fire TV Edition for Auto will add Alexa voice control but also a Fire TV touch-screen interface with offline viewing, perfect for keeping kids entertained on long (or short) drives. And ordinary Alexa support is coming to more cars, including Lamborghini’s Huracab Evo range. If you have Alexa already, you’ll soon be able to take advantage of new features, like paying for gas at Exxon Mobile stations (via Amazon Pay) by just saying “Alexa, pay for gas” at the pump.
And for home security, Amazon has improved its Ring lineup. A new Control Center is coming to the Ring app, making it easier to manage your devices control your security and privacy settings from a central dashboard. Amazon has gotten into hot water for Ring privacy issues recently, and the Control Center may be a step in the right direction.
There are new products, too, with indoor and solar-powered outdoor lighting to make sure you never come home to a dark house. These lights may be a hard sell for those of us who have already invested in smart lights from Philips Hue or other manufacturers, but their easy integration with Amazon products will appeal to Ring-owners. There’s also a the Ring Access Controller Pro that can open electronically controlled gates and a beefed up line of Ring X Line cameras for professional installers. The new smart lights and access controller are available now, but the X Line will be available later this year.
[Image credits: Amazon]