Amazon adds multiroom audio control to Echo devices

Planning

The integration will begin by requiring users of either voice assistant to specifically "open" the other. Microsoft and Amazon are working together to ensure that their voice-driven digital assistants will be able to work together in a surprising collaboration. Alexa customers will be able to access Cortana's features, including booking meetings, accessing calendars and reading email.

Sonos joins an ever-increasing list of companies entering the smart speaker market now dominated by Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo that first launched in 2015. On the flip side, Cortana users can now ask Alexa to access and control smart home devices in your home, as well as placing orders on Amazon. He went on to point out that Cortana's knowledge, Office integration, smart commitments, and reminders would be assets to Alexa users. The plan is for those using Alexa devices to say "Alexa, open Cortana", to access Microsoft's assistant, while someone using Cortana could speak the command: "Cortana, open Alexa".

That's probably not the most seamless method Jeff Bezos and Satya Nadella's tech giants could have come up with to pair their so far rival services, but it may only be the beginning of a attractive (and unexpected) friendship. Meanwhile, Cortana was announced by Microsoft in May 2015 and released for its Windows Phone product.

For consumers who live in a mixed device/OS environment, this is definitely good news as the smart home speaker device market is expected to explode over the next five years.


"I want them to have access to as many of those A.I.s as possible." said Jeff Bezos. If you won't have enough time, simply ask Alexa to open Cortana again and set a reminder for the end of your workday to drop off the clothes. We look forward to having Alexa on Cortana-enabled devices and Cortana on Alexa-enabled devices later this year.

"The personality and expertise of each one will be such that if they interoperated, the user will get more out of it".

HomePod is created to work with the Apple Music subscription service and can produce rich sound while tapping into the artificial intelligence power of Siri. Google, of course, has Google Assistant built into the Google Home speaker as well as select Android phones. However, Nedella did say that he'll welcome the companies if they do decode to join Microsoft and Amazon.

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