Amazon's annual Prime Day is coming up in just a few short days, and just in time for the occasion, your Amazon Echo speaker can now let you know when a package is out for delivery. If you have Alexa tracking a package for you, or have asked about tracking for a package recently, whenever that package is on its way to you from the final processing facility, such as your local UPS depot or US post office, your Echo unit will light up yellow instead of its usual color. The change is rather subtle, and the whole thing is simple, but it will hopefully help to avoid missed packages and get eager buyers their purchases a bit faster.
Thanks to the power of Alexa, Amazon's versatile Echo unit can already help you keep track of packages on demand, and can be set to give you voice notifications whenever the status of the package changes, as well as tell you when you can expect it to be delivered. Thanks to deep integration with Amazon's framework and the Amazon user accounts of those who use the Echo, the AI-powered speaker has full access to a user's Amazon account, and can place or cancel orders just as easily as it can track them. This newest change takes that just a small step further, and underscores the primary function of the Echo; to pull users deeper into Amazon's ecosystem.
Alexa is a top competitor in the consumer-facing AI market, and that is in no small part due to Amazon's direct efforts in enhancing the functionalities that the company expects everyday users to take advantage of, such as smart home control, deeper account integration, and asking mundane questions. All of the first party effort does not mean that Amazon neglects the many outside developers that help to make Alexa as powerful and varied an ecosystem as it is. The e-commerce giant is seemingly always looking for new ways to court developers, including letting them hook their own creations into core product functions tied to Alexa. This new, more subtle notification system is unlikely to be any different, so creative uses of it via Skills for Alexa from third-party developers may start popping up soon.