Amazon’s IFA 2018 keynote provided a great deal of detail about how the company has taken its digital voice assistant to incredible heights in just four years— and how they’re helping to prop up an entirely new business model and industry that revolves around voice. Daniel Rausch, VP of Smart Home for Amazon and one of the founding fathers of Amazon Alexa, walked the gathered audience through Alexa’s history, from its roots in Star Trek all the way through the wild expansion of Alexa-enabled devices. “We know we’ve barely scratched the surface,” Rausch said, referring to the capabilities of voice technology coupled with artificial intelligence and deep learning—the pillars that hold Alexa up. Amazon, according to Rausch, has seen tens of millions of customers make Alexa part of their daily lives, ordering groceries through the service, playing games, controlling their smart home, requesting an Uber, and much more.

According to data cited by Rausch, businesses saw a 43% lift in business in the nine months after launching an Alexa-enabled product. If going the hardware route isn’t necessarily “up a brand’s alley”, there are other ways to dive into voice control and still realise an exceptional boost to the bottom line. Rausch, again citing Amazon’s data, said that when a company integrated Works With Alexa capabilities into their product (meaning one can ask Alexa to control that device), businesses on average see a 53% boost to their business almost immediately.

Hall 26 Stand 201

Photo: Daniel Rausch VP of Smart Home, Amazon