from the who-is-next? dept.
Electronics retailer Best Buy, considered an Amazon competitor, will sell a limited selection of products through Amazon's Alexa:
In an odd turn for retail cooperation, Best Buy is now available on Alexa, Amazon's voice-powered digital assistant. Starting today, you can learn about and order Best Buy's Deal of the Day sales just by saying, "Alexa, talk to Best Buy." Sure, it seems odd to have a competing service on Amazon's own devices, but as the blog post from Best Buy points out, the big box store has been selling Amazon Alexa devices in a special section in about 700 of its stores earlier this year.
Adoption of voice-powered smart speakers is taking off. According to a new report from Juniper Research out this morning, smart devices like the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Sonos One will be installed in a majority – that is, 55 percent – of U.S. households by the year 2022. By that time, over 70 million households will have at least one of these smart speakers in their home, and the total number of installed devices will top 175 million.
The new forecast follows other reports pointing to growth in the voice-enabled speaker market, including one from eMarketer this spring which said that 35.6 million U.S. consumers would use a voice-activated device at least once per month in 2017, representing 128.9 percent growth over last year.
Despite the increased adoption of smart speakers with voice control capabilities, the new report points out that the majority of voice assistant usage won't be through these in-home devices. Instead, the most usage will occur on smartphones, with over 5 billion assistants installed on smartphones worldwide by 2022.
Amazon's Echo, Plus and Dot speakers will finally be available in Japan starting next week. To prepare for the devices' arrival in the island nation, the e-retail giant taught the voice assistant how to understand and respond in the Japanese language. Alexa SVP Tom Taylor said the company designed an all-new experience "from the ground up for Japanese customers, including a new Japanese voice, local knowledge and over 250 skills from Japanese developers."
Related: Amazon Dominates Voice-Controlled Speaker Market
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Amazon's Alexa Adds Ability to Order from Best Buy