Amazon announced that its virtual assistant Alexa will soon be able to deliver notifications, including telling you to go for a run if the weather is nice. Users will be able to enable notifications for specific updates about news, the weather and shopping. Skills like AccuWeather will provide weather updates, The Washington Post will provide breaking news alerts, and Just Eat will give food order confirmations. Amazon Echo is a voice-controlled smart speaker that works alongside a smartphone app. Using a virtual assistant called Alexa, the speaker can respond to voice commands from the user, such as setting an alarm or ordering a cab.
While Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa were big at CES 2019, Microsoft's Cortana digital personal assistant was nowhere in sight. That's not surprising, given Microsoft's decision to reposition Cortana as less of a standalone assistant and more of an assistance aide. The company quietly has been scoring some wins with its Virtual Assistant Solution Accelerator -- templates and tools which allow customers to build their own customized virtual assistants. Microsoft introduced the Virtual Assistant Accelerator in preview form in November 2018. Using the Virtual Assistant Accelerator, customers can change the name, voice and personality of their assistants and use a starter set of conversational skills.
However, they soon find out they have neither the time nor stamina for such a feat. Faced with this realization, in 2017 most of them turn to the idea of hiring a virtual assistant to help them out. In most cases, we are talking about a self-employed remote worker who assumes the role of your personal assistant. The advantages of this are numerous. First of all, you save money by not hiring a full-time employee.
Apple's new AirPods give you hands-free access to Siri, and it sounds like Amazon is working on something similar for Alexa. Bloomberg reports the online retail giant is working on its own true wireless earbuds that will also be its first Alexa wearable. Details are scarce for now, but Bloomberg's sources say although the Amazon version will be similar to AirPods in terms of both general design and features, the company is aiming to offer better audio quality than Apple. Sound quality has been a key criticism of both models of AirPods. In addition to saying "Alexa" to activate the virtual assistant, the earbuds will reportedly offer gesture controls for things like taking calls and skipping tracks while listening to music.