Right now, there’s 2 voice assistants that matter, Amazon Alex and Google Assistant and they’re in an all out scramble (read: war) to get everywhere first. The latest big development is an announcement that Acer, Asus, HP and Lenovo are all planning on adding Alexa to some of their Windows 10 laptops and desktops.
This is big news considering the struggling Cortana voice assistant that nobody seems to use. So if peoiple don’t like talking to their computers, how are they so comfortable talking to their devices like the Echo and Google Home? It seems the division comes from the ability for microphone arrays to passively listen to you from across the room, avoiding the clumsy requirement to put on a headset before ordering it to open yesterday’s PowerPoint.
Later this year you will see Amazon’s Alexa available on thousands of machines, adding to already hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Alexa-enabled devices. While Microsoft and Amazon had announced a partnership, nothing came of that in 2017 and this is simply Amazon surging ahead regardless of Microsoft, presumably dragging the chain.
The Verge are reporting that you can wake Alexa in one of 2 ways. The first is calling out the regular activation word, but the other is a new option, which is to set a keyboard shortcut and simply press that key (or combination) to start Alexa listening to your every desire.
Amazon made the announcement at CES 2018, happening in Las Vegas this week.