Amazon's Alexa is the brain of its Echo and digital assistant efforts, and the company is rapidly beginning to distribute the technology into other products.
At the Consumer Electronics Show 2017, it's clear that Amazon aims to put Alexa everywhere. Google will also look to embed its Google Assistant everywhere too -- in Hyundai cars for instance -- but Amazon is quickly forging pacts with big-name tech vendors.
- DISH will enable Amazon Alexa voice control on its Hopper DVR. According to a statement, DISH is the first TV provider to offer direct compatibility with Alexa.
- Whirlpool connecting Alexa to its smart appliances as a skill on Echo and Echo Dot. Given Alexa's integration with other smart home providers, Amazon is becoming intertwined with in-home connectivity.
- Lenovo is also integrating Amazon's Alexa in a series of smart devices. What's interesting here is that Lenovo sees Amazon as more of a partner than competitor, even as it preps its own artificial intelligence technology.
- Amazon is ensuring Alexa will have the developer community behind it via integration with Amazon Web Services.
- CNET: What's Alexa up to at CES? Here's a running list including integration with GE and Samsung.
On the strategy front, Amazon's strategy with Alexa rhymes with what we've seen from Netflix and Microsoft in the past. Netflix dropped allegiance to hardware and partnered with multiple vendors to distribute its service. Microsoft's Windows operating system wasn't the best game in town in the early days of the PC market, but gained distribution to become a standard.
Amazon sees similar success ahead. We can debate all day whether Alexa is really that smart relative to Google Assistant, Cortana, and Siri. But that bake-off may not matter. History shows distribution can trump all as long as a technology is good enough.