Alexa wants to become invisible

Time.news – Alexa aims to become a piece of furniture. The new edition of Amazon’s intelligent assistant tries to no longer clutter up tables, desks and bedside tables and ‘disappear’ on the walls of the house, with the aim of becoming a ‘hub’ for family activities.

“The shape of Alexa Echo 15 is that of a screen inserted in a 15.6-inch frame to hang on the wall. A smart frame that disappears into the environment, does not disturb and does not distract and becomes the digital heart of the home. information for the management of the home and the daily life of the family “, explains Gianmaria Visconti, country manager for Alexa products,

With widgets, each member of the family has the most relevant information available, such as reminders, shopping lists, weather, customizable thanks to the merger with the new ‘visual id’ that allows the machine to recognize the face and provide related information. to the person who questions her.

But at what point is the penetration of digital assistants in Italy and above all the perception that users have in terms of privacy? “We don’t have a direct measure of it” says Visconti, “we have a very large team that deals with privacy and we have decided to have all the image qualifications locally. To put it in simpler terms, the images are not transmitted to the cloud, but analyzed from the device without going online. A mode that required complex development in terms of performance, therefore of hardware and algorithm “.

The response from Italian customers is positive: “There is very strong growth and it is the best indicator” adds Viscomnti, “In the last year, customers have increased by 80%. The dot line is the best-selling. the field of products for the smarthome is growing: almost 30% year on year and smart speakers are the driving force. Just think that in 2021 alone there were 1.2 billion interactions – that is, questions made by Italians to Alexa ” .

The challenge, however, is not only in terms of hardware and algorithms: the public is increasingly hungry for content and Amazon has already shown that it is ready to satiate it with video entertainment (Amazon Prime) and audio (Audible). But that’s still not enough. “The scenario that we imagine is the progressive replacement with television, at least in certain environments such as the kitchen” continues Visconti.

However much I may try, there is something that still does not allow Alexa to become truly invisible: the power cord. That she will continue to remind us – and to remind Amazon – that, whenever we want, we can always pull the plug.

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