In November of 2014. Amazon announced a new speaker, known as the Amazon Echo. It was a bit crazy at the time. Not many people knew what Amazon was going for with this product. Now over a year and a half later, we know a whole lot more about the Echo and the voice behind the Echo, Alexa. To put it simply, Amazon created an equivalent to Google Now and put her in a speaker. But Alexa is much more than that. Alexa can work with other platforms like Philips Hue, Belkin WeMo, Uber, Dominos and much more. Google Now can’t order you pizza, yet.
Alexa has already expanded past the Amazon Echo, being integrated into Amazon’s Fire TV line-up of HDMI sticks and set-top boxes. Additionally, Amazon has announced the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot, both of which feature Alexa. Amazon has also taken the Google approach with Alexa, and basically put it out there for anyone to use. We’ve seen a few cool products come out of that. But now we’re hearing that Amazon is working on a “tablet-like” device that will have Alexa built-in. It’s worth noting here that the latest Amazon Fire tablets (which were updated earlier this year) do not feature Alexa’s voice control.
The device is codenamed “Knight”. There’s not much known about the device right now, other than that it may turn into a tablet. This is coming out of Amazon’s Lab126 which is their hardware division. With this device, you’ll be able to use Alexa to do all sorts of things, similar things to what the Amazon Echo can already do. You can search for things, have it read you the latest headlines, even call you an Uber. This tablet is slated to come out before the end of the year.
Amazon has some big plans for Alexa, and a big part of that is integration with other platforms. Ford has actually partnered with Amazon to bring Alexa integration to some of their upcoming models. The company hasn’t stated how they plan to make money directly from Alexa. But for now, it appears to basically be a window into their store. As Alexa can order things for customers, and urges you to sign up for Amazon Prime, which will cost you $99/year.