It appears a lot more Americans are getting acquainted with Alexa. The Echo is the best way to add Alexa to your life, and you can get access to all sorts of Alexa-exclusive deals once you have one. The number of Americans using voice-enabled speakers like Amazon Echo at least once a month more than doubled from last year, says a forecast from research firm eMarketer. More than one-quarter of smartphone owners in the U.S., 60.5 million Americans, will use a virtual assistant like Alexa, Apple's Siri, or Microsoft's Cortana at least once a month. "Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the technology, which is driving engagement," said Martín Utreras, eMarketer's vice president of forecasting, in a statement.
Video: Why Siri and Alexa won't be the only'voices' we hear on our devices Alexa users can train Amazon's voice assistant to learn how to recognize different voices and personalize its services for multiple users. Amazon's Alexa has evened up the score with Google Home and can now be used to set up multiple user accounts. Amazon's Alexa "voice profiles" allows the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show to deliver personalized responses to everyone in your family or share house. Watch out Windows, Android, and iOS: Amazon's Alexa is turning into the next big operating system Amazon is spreading the reach of Alexa further and faster than its rivals, which is going to have big implications. Amazon Echo and other Alexa devices previously supported multiple accounts, but required users to say "Alexa, switch accounts" to move between them.
Amazon is working to make its Alexa a better listener. The Seattle-based technology giant has been developing a feature that would allow the voice assistant that powers its Echo line of speakers to distinguish between individual users based on their voices, according to people familiar with Amazon's Alexa strategy. The sources declined to be identified by name because they are not authorized to talk about the company's future product plans. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment. Alexa, like Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana, can interpret and respond to voice commands such as "How's the weather?" or "What movies are playing tonight?"
Voice control was all the rage at CES 2017 and this year's show appears to continue the trend. This time, another big name in audio is getting into the game: Klipsch. The company will have options for both Alexa and Google Assistant, so you'll have some choice when it comes to the new feature and new audio gear.
This is the first smart speaker for music lovers, the company claims. It looks like a Play:1 on the outside (not a bad thing), but it has a six-microphone array to pick up your spoken commands and lighting to indicate when voice control is active. It'll support Alexa out of the box, but Sonos says it's open to using other voice assistants -- in fact, Google Assistant will be coming in 2018. You'll have access to Alexa's skills from the get-go, of course, but the big deal is that you can control playback entirely through voice if you like. You can tell the One to play music on specific Sonos speakers or throughout your entire home, for instance.