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Jan 31, 2017 08:41 AM EST

Amazon Echo Partners With Starbucks; How Well Does It Know Its Market

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Going back to when the Amazon Echo was introduced, it seemed more of a novelty. Now, along with the addition of Alexa, Amazon seemed to have changed what artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistants could do.

Amazon Echo and Dot

According to Nasdaq, Echo and sister product, Dot, can now serve as the base that controls one's home. Developers from hundreds or maybe thousands of companies have been releasing products which integrate with Echo and many more have been embedding Alexa into their devices.

In addition, the Amazon devices and their AI brain were one of the biggest topics at January's Consumer Electronics Show, with Alexa-enabled devices being very well represented. Amazon is clearly in the lead of a race to control the smart home of the future, which, for some people, has become the present.

Amazon Echo: how many have been sold?

Although Amazon does not share data about sales, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) has analyzed the company's user base and released an an estimate as to how many Echos have been sold. The firm said its analysis shows that 8.2 million Amazon customers in the United States have purchased an Echo device since its late 2014 release. Amazon seems to know what their customers need.

The information from CIRP added that awareness of the Amazon Echo has risen dramatically among the online retailer's customers. The company estimates that among U.S. Amazon customers, awareness of the devices increased to 82 percent as of Dec. 31, 2016, up from 47 percent a year before that, and 20 percent on March 31, 2015.

Amazon Echo and Starbucks

Meanwhile per Android Central, Starbucks is pushing into Amazon Echo, with the ability to order drinks directly from the connected speaker. How does it work?

The primary voice control interface is part of the new My Starbucks barista product. This breaks down the ordering process inside the Starbucks app into a messaging-like conversation with AI. The client says what he/she wants, building the order piece by piece. It will ask for confirmation before passing the order to the nearest store, where the client can walk in and pick it up. 

The new feature is arriving in a beta test for a 1,000 customers, but will expand through the summer as an Android version arrives. Do you have any Amazon devices? Are you planning to get an Amazon Echo?

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