Smart speakers have been gaining quick grounds globally and it has turned out to be a kind of fad in India too. With estimated 25 million shipments of voice assistant devices (majorly smart speakers) worldwide, Google, Amazon, Apple and a handful of others are in a race to grab a major chunk of the voice assistance segment.
To dominate the smart speaker segment, Google and Amazon are likely to spend about Rs 60 crore on the promotion of their voice assistant portfolio – Home and Home Mini and Echo respectively.
While these speakers fulfill many tasks on voice command such as meal ordering, cab booking, storytelling, checking bank balance amongst thousands of skills, infotainment (music, pieces of information etc.) quotient seems to be a major reason for their penetration.
After seeing a decent traction of its Alexa-powered Echo smart speakers in India, the company is now testing it with the in-car infotainment system. Citing sources, FactorDaily reports that Amazon has begun beta testing of its speakers in car infotainment system.
Amazon already has struck partnership with car makers including BMW to integrate Alexa into their infotainment system. Unlike usual Alexa speaker, the car specific version will be pairable with the smartphone and can be mounted on the dashboard.
If the current test goes well without major glitches, Alexa-powered car speakers will be rolled out by July this year. Car infotainment segment is big in India and ripe for disruption through technologies such as Artificial intelligence (AI).
Amazon sees an opportunity in the segment through a combination of product (i.e; Alexa speaker) and services including Amazon Prime and Prime Music. It can also bundle its subscription Amazon Prime with relevant services that have use case inside car infotainment system.
At present, Alexa has a skill store that lists over 25,000 skills ranging from dictating an SMS text, checking weather and traffic forecast. Such services would indeed help Echo to entice car owners.
Since its launch in October last year, Amazon smart speakers – Prime and Echo have surpassed company’s expectation in terms of sales. As Alexa can be paired with smartphones using Bluetooth, Amazon won’t be dependent on the partnership with car makers for Echo implementation inside cars.
After finding a firm place in living room, Alexa now looks up to space in your car. In future, it would be interesting to observe how Amazon leverages voice assistant to winning the fierce battle in e-commerce and entertainment segments.