Amazon’s massive cloud computing infrastructure generates billions of dollars in revenue and is now at the forefront of the company’s business model. Here WIRED explains Amazon’s bold new world of technological innovation.
YOU CAN’T WALK the sprawling floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center without tripping over a speaker, an appliance, or even a robot or two that supports Alexa. Amazon’s voice assistant is clearly the darling of CES 2017.
This may well be the year you switch from tapping and typing on touchscreens to simply shouting commands.
Many platforms, from Apple’s Siri and Micosoft’s Cortana to Google’s Assistant and Samsung’s Viv, want to be your conversational partner, but Alexa easily leads the race. The winner will claim a sweet prize. Just how big is the subject of not a little speculation, but the best estimate pegs the market for digital assistants at $3.6 billion by 2020.
These things will be everywhere. You’ll find dozens of Alexa-enabled devices at CES. Ford rolled in with a car that summons your assistant with a button on the steering wheel. Klipsch built a speaker with an Echo Dot-sized hole at the top. Whirlpool appliances respond to commands barked at your Echo. Before long you’ll change channels on your Dish Hopper DVR just by yelling at it. Even your LG fridge will work with Alexa to play music, set timers, and tell you how many tablespoons are in a cup (16).
Amazon once packaged and shipped books it bought from vendors. Then it launched Amazon Marketplace, letting anyone use Amazon’s e-commerce and fulfillment tech. It now comprises half of Amazon’s business. It’s the same story with Amazon Web Services, the massive cloud computing infrastructure that generates billions in revenue hosting pretty much anything for anyone. Working with buyers and sellers has always been part of what makes Amazon successful.
This was the week Alexa conquered CES. And this is the year Alexa conquers the world.
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