Alexa and Siri, rival voice assistants on Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s iPhone, don’t directly communicate with one another. But the Amazon executive in charge of Alexa and the Amazon Echo said he’d welcome the idea.
“You should be able to tell `Alexa, ask Siri X,’” said David Limp, senior vice president of devices at Amazon.
“If Apple or Google want to come calling, my phone number is out there, they can call…I don’t know if I can envision it but I hope that will happen on behalf of customers,” Limp told a group of journalists at the Wired Business Conference Wednesday in New York.
Limp has a strong interest in Apple’s entry into the voice-activated, artificially-intelligent infused speaker space, which also includes Google Home and Microsoft’s Cortana on the Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker. Apple’s $349 Siri-controlled HomePod speaker announced Monday is in direct competition with Amazon’s best-seller Echo and related products, like the smaller and cheaper Dot and the upcoming video-enabled Amazon Echo Show.
Does Limp think HomePod poses a competitive challenge to Amazon? “From our standpoint, it’s a little different philosophically,” Limp says. Noting HomePod’s “premium” price, Limp points out that that you can place eight of the company’s best-selling Echo Dots in a home for the same price as one new Apple speaker, at least when purchasing the Dots in a three-pack.
“When people are starting to spend … hundreds of dollar per speaker, I think generally they’re going to want choice,” Limp says. He points out that through through Bluetooth or a “line out” connection, you can connect a Dot to any compatible speaker of your choice. “People’s tastes in speakers are unbelievably personal,” he says.
Amazon has a big head start on HomePod, which Apple says won’t ship until December. In the meantime, Alexa keeps building on Alexa’s capabilities or as Amazon refers to them, “skills,” which now number more than 13,000.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: USA Today, Edward C. Baig