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Amazon's Alexa integrates into Windows PC

Published : Jan 8, 2018, 4:29 pm IST
Updated : Jan 8, 2018, 4:29 pm IST

Alexa app is coming to Windows PCs

“Hey Cortana, open Alexa,” and  “Alexa, open Cortana,” to unveil in the spring.
 “Hey Cortana, open Alexa,” and “Alexa, open Cortana,” to unveil in the spring.

Amazon has started to integrate its Alexa assistant to desktops by an app designed for Windows. This app will be available for users from April. It has voice control for the ‘Alexa’ wake word and can also be triggered by a keyboard shortcut. This might be a competition to Microsoft’s Cortana assistant.

The app works the same way as it does on the mobile apps, like accessing the web-based service. HP, Acer, Asus and Lenovo are also planning to integrate Alexa for their upcoming laptops line-up this year. Manufacturers have mentioned that they will use Intel’s Smart sound an integrated audio DSP (Digital Signal Processor) built to handle audio, voice, and speech interactions to pick up the Alexa wake word.

With Amazon Alexa, users with compatible Acer notebooks and PCs can get more done by asking Alexa to check their calendar, create lists and answer questions; be entertained by asking Alexa to play their favourite music, podcasts or audiobooks. Users can also manage smart home devices by controlling lights, thermostats and home appliances through voice commands to Alexa.

Notebooks such as the Switch 7 Black Edition and Spin 5 with Acer Purified Voice and four digital microphones support far-field voice recognition from up to nine feet away, while others with dual microphones will be able to activate Alexa within three feet.

Acer's new V6820M and V6820i 4K UHD projectors will be among the first of its kind to support Amazon Alexa. Users will be able to control the projector after enabling the Acer Projector Smart Home skill by asking Alexa compatible Acer PC, "Alexa, turn on the projector," "Alexa, select HDMI as the projector source," or "Alexa, change projector display mode to bright."

“This is a big step toward making Alexa available wherever customers might need her,” said Steve Rabuchin, Amazon Alexa vice president, in a news release announcing Acer’s integration of Alexa into its Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks, and Aspire all-in-one PCs.

In August last year, Amazon and Microsoft announced that they were working together to share their digital assistant's abilities.

Tags: ces 2018, amazon, alexa, cortana, microsoft