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Exclusive: Amazon says 100 million Alexa devices have been sold

By The Verge

Amazon isn’t letting Google own CES without a fightRead full story

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  • D.A. Wallach
    D.A. WallachproRecording Artist & Investor

    While the other big players detoured into AR and VR, Amazon quietly owned this next significant compute platform. So impressive.

  • Wow, Amazon released a real number, as opposed to its typically vague proclamations like they sold “enough commercial butane torches to caramelize 31,000 creme brûlées” (actual quote). That said, this 100 million figure, while impressive, doesn’t really speak to Alexa’s reach. It would be more relevant to know the number of *active* devices with Alexa built in, which I suspect is much lower, and of course how many of those actually make requests to Alexa, which is lower still. But it’s still better than creme brûlée.

  • This discussion from the Verge nicely explores some of the platform dynamics and strategies related to Amazon’s Alexa and other smart assistants, as we’ll as including a (somewhat vague) number of devices deployed. Despite the Amazon executive downplaying the idea that Alexa is a platform (I think it is), there are some interesting and nontraditional tactics (e.g., openness and interoperability with competitors) that we don’t always see when companies are investing in and building platforms.

    On

    This discussion from the Verge nicely explores some of the platform dynamics and strategies related to Amazon’s Alexa and other smart assistants, as we’ll as including a (somewhat vague) number of devices deployed. Despite the Amazon executive downplaying the idea that Alexa is a platform (I think it is), there are some interesting and nontraditional tactics (e.g., openness and interoperability with competitors) that we don’t always see when companies are investing in and building platforms.

    On a slightly more skeptical note, I don’t fully buy Amazon’s complete distinction between ambient (e.g., Alexa) and personal devices/services like Siri. Nonetheless, an interesting piece to reflect upon as one thinks about future possibilities.

  • The AI assistant war is being won by the company that doesn't make phones.

    * >100M Alexa devices

    * >150 products with Alexa built in

    * >28,000 smart home devices that work with Alexa made by more than 4,500 different manufacturers

    * >70,000 Alexa skills

  • This is a travesty for the privacy of the individual.

  • It is hard to overstate the threat to privacy from Alexa, Google Home and similar devices.

    I understand the convenience that voice systems provide to parents of small children, but no one should underestimate the cost. There is no evidence that Amazon, Google, Facebook or their licensees will prioritize the interests of users. There is no reason to believe they will be restrained in their use of data. There is every reason to believe that the Android operating system they all use is vulnerable to hacking.

    Please be careful.

  • Max Lockie
    Max LockiePlatform Editor at Quartz

    not a coincidence that they drop this the day after apple drops 10%

  • Interesting points especially regarding the depth and breadth approach towards capturing developers and ISVs. Ambient computing is the future, not mobile phones. But between now and then we may see splintered platforms that don’t interoperate and either focus too much on consumer vs business scenarios.

    I’m curious to see how the Cortana/Alexa symbiosis will play out. That is one example of having side by side ambient intelligence where one is stronger in business scenarios while the other is almost

    Interesting points especially regarding the depth and breadth approach towards capturing developers and ISVs. Ambient computing is the future, not mobile phones. But between now and then we may see splintered platforms that don’t interoperate and either focus too much on consumer vs business scenarios.

    I’m curious to see how the Cortana/Alexa symbiosis will play out. That is one example of having side by side ambient intelligence where one is stronger in business scenarios while the other is almost focused entirely on consumer.

    It’s a cross-invoking play... It would be great to see these two worlds transparently pass information and knowledge to each other... like having Cortana aware of business contextual information (like my business calendar and where I am busy/free) enabling my family to add family events to a family calendar that is aware that I may have a business commitment at that time or vice-versa.

  • Jay Margolis
    Jay MargolisChairman at Intuit Consulting

    Can an Alexa phone be far away?

  • Kyle King
    Kyle King

    This is an amazing number. As much as 100 million homes and work spaces with active microphones and voice recognition technology, recording, and linked together under one company. If people learned just a little bit more about these IoT devices, how they function, and the risks associated with them, it would really change things.

    We need more educated consumers, and consumers that don’t invite “Mega Corp” companies into their homes and invade their privacy with a near sole intent of gathering data

    This is an amazing number. As much as 100 million homes and work spaces with active microphones and voice recognition technology, recording, and linked together under one company. If people learned just a little bit more about these IoT devices, how they function, and the risks associated with them, it would really change things.

    We need more educated consumers, and consumers that don’t invite “Mega Corp” companies into their homes and invade their privacy with a near sole intent of gathering data and selling more goods. I’m still shocked people don’t see this.

  • Dave Edwards
    Dave EdwardsFounder at Sonder Scheme

    100 million devices to put us in virtual servitude as they offer up search results designed to maximize Amazon profits

  • David Garnett
    David Garnett

    Amazon should link Alexa devices together ... the Alexa network could become the world's largest and most powerful distributed supercomputer!

  • Chris McCauley
    Chris McCauleySoftware Engineer

    Alexa is useful for me to do my miscellaneous tasks.

    I think that Amazon needs to win platform war of smart speaker. Because they already lost smartphone industry.

  • William Wood
    William WoodOwner at William Wood

    I did my part, like the association with automation. Have not shared contacts nor do I shop on it.

  • James Hawk
    James HawkMAJOR SUIT at CEO

    It's BS...Alexa n Siri suck gonads

  • Mohammed Rashidi
    Mohammed Rashidi

    Nobody seems to realize how Orwellian this is

  • E D
    E D

    If the individual person don't care about their privacy why are other people concern. If I decide to give Google my location why do you care?

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