Welcome, Alexa

Welcome, Alexa


Just over a month ago, Alexa, the home voice assistant from Amazon, arrived in Italy together with her official smart speakers: Amazon Echo.

 

Amazon Echo

 

Amazon immediately made it clear how important it is for her to bring her devices into the homes of Italian users, with a truly aggressive launch, which has lasted up and beyond the now famous Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

 

The panorama of offers related to the world of voice assistants is therefore rapidly expanding also for Italian users, who have always been a bit relegated to bringing up this kind of technology.

 

It is also recent news that Xiaomi is preparing the launch of his voice assistant, Xiaomi AI, in addition to the announced and already formalized partnership of the Chinese IT giant with the Swedish furniture, IKEA.

 

Surely the 2019 will therefore lead us to the exacerbation of a “war” between the voice assistants and home automation solutions, seeing at least four great players opposed: Google, Amazon, Xiaomi and Apple.

 

It is no coincidence that he listed them in this order: in recent years Apple seems a bit ‘to have forgotten the old continent, leaving behind many non-English speaking states and especially Italy. Furthermore, the minimum basic cost makes it difficult to adopt compatible Home Kit devices; the lack of integration of Siri in the Italian version of Apple TV and the total absence of Home Pod in the stores of the beautiful country are other boulders that weigh on the Apple-branded solution.

 

Waiting to see how Xioami will move in Europe, there are currently two very valid alternatives to Italian users and that are contending for the smart home devices market: Amazon and Google.

 

A journey together

 

In this series of articles we will discover together the world of Alexa: what can and can not do, how it interacts with us and with our home and how to add functionality to Alexa (called “skill”, which translated means “skill”).

 

In a sort of “programmer’s diary”, we will discover the potential of Alexa through my personal experience in using my smart devices to house my home, and we will go into the programming world, creating a skill together.

 

See you in the next article, where I will tell you how to activate an Echo device and what we can immediately with and without subscriptions to external services.

 

A greeting,

 

Diego


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