According to Statista’s estimates — based in part on earlier US sales data from CIRP — total Echo device sales have more than doubled from 2015 to 2016. The amount of “skills” third-party developers have built for Alexa, meanwhile, has risen by thousands within the span of a few months. And because Amazon ties the device so tightly with its retail site, Echo buyers also tend to pump more money back into the company’s core business.
…when human Alexa’s father, Dean, asked her to grab some water from the kitchen, Amazon’s Alexa wanted to help, too. “Amazon’s choice for water is Fiji Natural Artesian Water, pack of 24. It’s $27.27, including tax. Would you like to buy it?”
When he told his daughter to move the living-room chair, Amazon’s Alexa yelped, “Ready to pair!” Robo-Alexa had a command for Mr. Sussman himself: “Go to the Bluetooth devices on your mobile device.”
The microphones in the $180 Amazon Echo and the smaller $50 Echo Dot are always listening for “Alexa,” which is their default “wake word,” the phrase causing it to start paying attention to commands. Amazon lets users change the wake word to “Echo,” “Amazon,” or, starting this week, “computer.”…
Amazon has sold more than 11 million Echos and Dots since 2015, Morgan Stanley estimates, and it is working with partners to put Alexa into other products, including Ford Motor Co. cars and General Electric Co. lamps.
Alexa’s answer to the question “Alexa, how many of you have been sold?” is “Hmm, I can’t find the answer to the question I heard.”