During the Amazon's Alexa Live event on Wednesday, Verizon announced a new smart display, aptly called Verizon Smart Display , with " Hey, Verizon "capability. This ability is powered by Amazon Custom Assistant , a "new comprehensive solution that enables device manufacturers and service providers to create intelligent assistants tailored to their brand personality and customer needs.
The program was announced in January, and several brands participated, including global automaker Stellantis, Qualcomm, Garmin, as well as Elektrobit and Continental. We saw the display Smart Verizon arrive a few weeks ago thanks to a Federal Communications Commission filing and while Wednesday's announcement is not groundbreaking, it does mark the continued success ofAmazon's new business strategy of selling Alexa to other companies for personalization. Granted, it 's much easier for businesses than creating their own assistant. Amazon provides the bones and companies fill the wizard with their own specific traits and personality. But where does it end?
When helpers multiply
With Amazon's new DIY voice assistant, our screens and top - smart speakers might start to become spam. Amazon basically sells Alexa to businesses, allowing them to put their own brand on it and choose different levels of brand-specific functions. They then take that voice assistant and put it in their own device or integrated into it.rent in existing Alexa products.
On the consumer side, the question becomes: are you ready to talk to all the brands in your home?
Of course, there are ways it could be cute and fun. I'm not opposed to a conversation with Charmin bears or Tony the Tiger. In fact, I have some real questions I could ask these cuddly brand ambassadors. Manage multiple voice assistants for specific tasks? Much less fun.
Like many people, I have more than one voice assistant in my house. I chose this lifestyle based on the products I want to use and the amount of information I want to convey to certain companies. But it's painful to ask Alexa to do one thing and Google to do another. I don't see how adding more cooks to the kitchen makes things easier.
At a minimum, these new assistants should alsobe a choice. Brand-specific interactions should remain hidden within a skill I choose to activate on my screen or speaker, and for distraction purposes only. If I want to order something, Alexa should be able to do it without entrusting me to a branded voice.
The added complexity of needing to speak to a specific assistant within my assistant seems overwhelming. Is there a future where I have to call every brand by name to complete a task? If "Hey, Spotify " is in my future just to start a playlist, it changes the way I interact with my smart devices. This is extra gray matter that I have to spend. Whenever I want to do something, I have to remind myself who to ask. Reminds me of the boring middleman of some smart home skills that makes me remember to ask Alexa to ask someoneanother to do something (including Spotify, if you don't set it as your default music player).
Find out more : Amazon presents plans for Matter, custom Alexa commands at Alexa Live developer conference
Different isn't always better
Even though we can handle our new cast of characters, who says it really improves the experience? Is there something these assistants can offer me that Alexa cannot? It's hard to imagine a real reason to talk to a brand rather than Alexa, as all voice brands are built on the Alexa platform and Alexa can surely perform the task itself.
If, however, brands pay Amazon for exclusive capabilities, effectively preventing AlExa to perform brand-specific actions, such as renewing subions or ordering products, we will soon find ourselves with a single speaker embodying several personalities.
This is a marketing department's dream. The s will be filled with clever and fun clips that aim to push the charm of talking to your favorite cereal mascot or your dog food brand. While a chat with Ronald McDonald seems like a nice way to spend the afternoon, it could push us to a level of brand-worshiping idiocracy and home integration.
The Verizon Smart Display includes a camera, speakers and a 4G LTE modem. FCC / Verizon
As for the Verizon Smart Display, the device is slated to launch in beta this fall, with wider distribution in 2022. It's hard to get a real idea of what exactly the smart display will do. We have some details on specifications and services , but not much else at the time of this article.
Long short article I'm skeptical. Look, I could be wrong on all of this. Simple skills with vocals of the brand thatoffer specific information might be helpful. We don't know much about how these new brand voices will work in a real home. At the moment, I am not ready to start the conversation.
Find out more