Amazon Alexa Will Come To Windows 10 PCs This Year


Amazon's Alexa is coming to Windows 10 PCs later this year, with HP, ASUS and Acer announcing compatibility on select models at CES 2018.

Amazon has also announced the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit which will enable OEMs to add Alexa to devices such as hearables, headphones, smart watches and fitness devices without having to start from scratch with coding for Alexa integration. Using voice, customers can "control music, timers, alarms, smart home devices and more", the release said, with a custom LED that will let the user know when Alexa is listening.

HP, Asus (Zenbook and Vivobook), Acer (Spin, Swift, Switch and Aspire) and Lenovo have already confirmed that their new lines announced at CES will come with "wake-word" support (in other words, saying Alexa without touching anything) but it won't be universal.

The integration is not related to the Cortana-Alexa partnership, an Amazon spokesperson told VentureBeat.

HP plans to roll out Alexa for its HP Pavilion Wave desktop computer tower, which doubles as an audio speaker.

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At CES 2018, expect more digital assistant-related announcements from the companies like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. With the PC integrations, Amazon is moving Alexa onto Microsoft's turf at a time when the two Seattle-area companies are separately working to make Alexa and Cortana work together.

Although most people interact with the Alexa voice assistant through Amazon's web-connected speakers, the Echo and the Echo Dot, the online retail giant has been increasingly courting third-party companies to embed Alexa in their own devices. You can use your Android phone and Google Assistant if you want, but Cortana will be passing data from your phone to your PC, both notifications, images and more so you can be productive. The rollout of the Alexa-Cortana integration, announced a year ago, has been delayed but is expected to start soon. Acer's Spin 5 and Switch 7 Black Edition notebooks will include four microphones to support far-field voice recognition for Alexa up to nine feet away. This computer looks like a speaker and is being updated to incorporate Intel Smart Sound Technology which allows for 360-degree reflective audio capable of capturing the sound of a voice from any angle.

It will work courtesy of an Alexa app designed specifically for Windows computers, available this spring.

The advent of Alexa for Business combined with these integrations could help to set Alexa up as a key business tool.