Amazon’s Alexa is set to make its debut on Windows 10 PCs this year. Although we do not have any hardware to vouch for yet, we — at least — have some information about OEMs who’re planning to integrate Alexa into a range of Windows 10 laptops and desktops, slated for release this year. Acer is one as the Taiwanese company just announced – ahead of CES 2018 — that Amazon’s Alexa will be coming to select Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks, as well as Aspire all-in-one PCs starting from Q1 2018. HP, Lenovo and Asus are other hardware partners on-board to get Alexa up and running on their devices in the days to come.
“Acer is excited to be among the first brands to bring Alexa to PCs,” Jerry Kao, president of IT Products Business of Acer Inc said while making the announcement. “With industry-leading audio technology across our portfolio, we’re providing consumers the possibility to interact with multiple voice services on their notebook or desktop. Alexa lets users do thousands of things and we’re now bringing those capabilities natively to PCs.”
Amazon Alexa will initially be available in the US, according to Acer, via an update rolled out through its Acer Care Center, while “wider support is expected to be rolled out mid-2018.” It is this app that will also listen for the Alexa wake word, but, users will probably be able to interact with the assistant using a keyboard. New and upcoming devices feasible for Alexa integration must – as prerequisite – support far-field voice recognition to ensure a seamless experience.
“We’re delighted that Acer will bring Alexa to PC customers,” Steve Rabuchin, vice president, Amazon Alexa said. “Hands-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. This is a big step toward making Alexa available wherever customers might need her.”
When up and running, you simply have to say, “Alexa (or your chosen wake word), followed by a command, and Amazon’s virtual assistant will make it happen provided it’s within its range of capabilities. The list of Alexa commands is expansive and grows with every new service or device it supports. You can ask Alexa to play music. You can set an alarm. You can set timers, create to-do lists, check for weather, traffic and news. So on and so forth.
For those looking for an alternate opinion, there’s always Cortana but it must be understood that this integration is different from the partnership that Microsoft and Amazon announced last year – to integrate Alexa and Cortana together by the end of 2017. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be even as Amazon is now taken a different route to ensure Alexa can chart uncharted territories. There are also smart AR glasses on the horizon now, by the way.
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