Amazon Alexa will soon arrive on Windows PCs, creating new competition for Microsoft's built-in Cortana voice assistant.
Companies such as Acer, ASUS, HP, and Lenovo are all on course to deliver Windows 10 machines with Alexa pre-installed later this year (though it won't be equipped with all of the native features at launch), with some these expected to be shown off at CES 2018 this week.
Enabled by IntelSmart Sound Technology, an integrated audio DSP (Digital Signal Processor) built to handle audio, voice, and speech interactions, many of Acer's latest notebooks and desktops will support Amazon Alexa and respond to voice commands quickly while offering high fidelity audio without impacting system performance. Notebooks with Acer Purified.Voice and four digital microphones, like the Switch 7 Black Edition and Spin 5, will support Alexa from up to 9 feet away.
He says that each assistant "brings aspects the other lacks", highlighting Alexa's skill at shopping and music, and Cortana's natural Windows integration.
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Amazon claims that users bought more Echo Dots than any other other item on its digital shelves over the last holiday season.
As reported by The Verge, it appears that integrating Alexa will require PC makers to use special mics with far-field voice recognition technology.
Unlike Microsoft Cortana, however, Amazon Alexa will live as a standalone third-party application for obvious reasons. Like the Echo Show, Alexa's responses will be displayed on the screen. Alexa will be coming to select Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks, as well as Aspire all-in-one PCs starting from Q1 2018. Additional support for Alexa-PC control of things like making calls and sending messages, and the ability to see security camera feeds may be added in the future. As Google and Apple continue growing and expanding their own personal assistants, Amazon has maintained its lead on those companies by getting Alexa into as much hardware as possible. "Cortana and Alexa can co-exist". "This is a big step toward making Alexa available wherever customers might need her.", said Steve Rabuchin. "We're delighted that ASUS will bring the Alexa experience to its laptop models - providing hands-free voice capabilities, and tens of thousands of skills, to PC customers at their desks and on-the-go".
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