Amazon has just announced the Fire TV with built in voice features – the Amazon Fire TV Cube – and it may have hit another home run. Here is why:
Penetration for Voice Assistants: Apple’s mistake
While Apple wowed us with Siri back in, Siri never took off. It was a great product for it’s time, and Apple had a great customer acquision strategy. But lack of direction and focus, and therefore stickiness has led SIRI to be irrelevant in the current market. Recent announcement showcase how far behind Siri is – Apple is aware it has been left behind and looks to be investing in Siri in order to catch up.
So while Siri made us aware of digital assistants, it wasn’t until Alexa was introduced that Voice technology has started to get real penetration. Are Alexa and Google Assistant better than Siri? Today, yes – Google is able to leverage it’s huge data sources and partnerships, while Amazon relies on it’s e-commerce and delivery expertise. But, 2 years ago Siri was ahead. And Amazon did not have it’s own phone to create penetration.
Smart Speakers: Are they more than speakers with voice features tacked on?
So what tilted the balance? What was the deciding factor?
Smart speakers: The bundling of voice into speakers and the positioning it as a speaker with additional features. It got Alexa into homes, and it has allowed Amazon to build a customer focused voice product.
#Voicefirst will be multimodal and Amazon knows
If Amazon is to continue leading the race, Amazon needs to be multimodal. Apple and Google have their own phones that can provide such functionality, Amazon has to continue to rely on other devices – the smart phone market is highly competitive. The Echo Show was it’s first effort at going multimodal, but it is the Amazon Fire TV Cube that could be it’s master stroke.
To be a masterstroke, that stickiness needs to be there: new features, such as blueprints and integration with Amazon Prime membership as well as the growing number of people lining to develop apps for Alexa means customers will be able to play with and use, even now at launch, the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Only time will tell if this works.