Voice becomes smart-home star
It was everywhere and anywhere at last week's 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, but its developer didn't even have a formal presence among the 3,800 exhibitors. Nevertheless, Alexa, the talking artificial-intelligence assistant produced by Amazon, dominated.
At the techie show where voice-activated smart-home products were a key part of connected home exhibitions, the voice-controlled technology that powers Amazon's Echo smart speakers grabbed the spotlight as companies announced that they were joining others and making their devices Alexa-compatible to control their products.
Huawei, the cellphone maker, said it will be the first smartphone to have full Alexa integration. Whirlpool offered a new range of appliances that integrate with Alexa. ADT will let owners of some of its security devices use Alexa to control them. Lenovo's new speakers come with Alexa installed. GE Appliances, now owned by Haier, launched a number of home appliances that work with Alexa.