If horses could talk (apart from Mr Ed, of course, of course), they’d want to talk to the new Amazon Echo “skill” that we've just launched in time for this year's Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.
In case it’s passed you by, Amazon’s new Echo device is a wifi-connected speaker that can respond to spoken questions. Just say "Alexa", and tell it what you want. It can provide news, information, entertainment, and other helpful services such as turning your heating up or down, or setting a timer for that perfect boiled egg. As new capabilities are added, it's becoming more useful every day, and is being pushed hard by Amazon in the UK, US and Germany (the three first territories where it’s launched). Starting at £39, it’s in the impulse buy zone for those who want to dabble.
These smart speakers are a rapidly expanding market. Google have just launched their own competitor, Google Home, and Apple are rumoured to be working on their own, due very soon. Connected homes are no longer the future, and just like with iPhone apps a few years ago, businesses are trying to work out how they can use these new at-home channels to reach their customers.
Versantus are at the forefront of this technology, and are developing a number of apps, or “skills” for these products. We're combining our experience of trending technologies, user-interface design and our high performance cloud platform with voice interface expertise from our old friend, Dominic Sancto, so we can now offer a one-stop-shop to businesses who want to dip their toe in, but are hampered by lack of in-house knowledge.
The new Alexa skill for Badminton Horse Trials brings in live results throughout the five days of the event, and combines it with news, travel guidance, ticket prices, and other FAQs to provide a complete visitor’s guide to the event. Have a look at what it can do in the video below.
Hugh Thomas, Event Director at Badminton said:
“We’re always keen on new ways to improve our visitor experience of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, and new technologies like this are a natural next step in users’ experience. I was very impressed with the demo, and the final outcome is fantastic, more natural sounding that I had expected.”
The skill is available for free on the Amazon Alexa Skills Store right away, and you can enable it for free on your Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Fire TV. Go on, it’s good to talk.
If you want to know how these new channels can help your business keep talking to your customers, get in touch with us today.