Is anyone really surprised that Amazon bought Ring Labs? It doesn’t seem like that big of a shock, or shocking at all for that matter. Since they released their original Echo product, initially to Prime members only, and then later to the masses in mid 2015, the smart assistant, Alexa enabled, speaker and personal assistant has been a huge success and big part of people’s daily routines and lives. What’s really handy about the Echo platform is the ability to integrate other smart devices and control them via voice commands. Everyday, more and more startups, as well as large corporations, incorporate Alexa into their products or build their smart device to work with an Echo as a control option and accessory, which has quickly become a new standard for the Internet of Things.
I’m fairly confident that most people are aware of either Amazon or their Echo devices by now, even you technophobes. If you’re not familiar with the aforementioned technology/lifestyle supergroup, welcome to the future; we’ve been waiting for you. They have rapidly become a large part of society, and are modernizing the way we do things today, like shopping, obtaining and consuming media, accept or reject deliveries, and so much more.
Ring’s acquisition is quite the brilliant play by Amazon, in that It’s no secret they are after the smart home market, and want a bigger piece of the IOT pie than competitor, Google. Google also has media services, cameras, security, HVAC controls, their own assistant, a doorbell cam, smart speakers, smart device integrations via their “Works with Nest” program, smart phones, computers, tablets and more. All of which play well with each other, can be controlled via voice, and they too are viewed as a voice control standard for smart devices. With each passing day and each development from these two massive entities, we are getting dangerously close to Thuderdome: Two men enter, one man leaves.
The biggest question and even bigger surprise may be who ends up being your trusted lifestyle partner. How do you choose? Why do you choose them? Whats the best option for you and your family? I can’t tell you who that will be, but I can tell you what they currently offer you, and why you should at least being trying both brand’s options. Below are some things to consider when shopping your next lifestyle purchase with either Amazon or Google; lets start with Amazon:
Amazon Key: This is a great/exclusive service for Prime members, that offers keyless entry, guest access and in-home delivery.
Whole Foods: This free range, organic, locally sourced and humanely treated grocery store, who is now owned by Amazon.com, has reduce their prices, again exclusive to Amazon Prime members, has also created a new shopping experience by putting in their lockers for an easier pickup and return experience. They are most likely feeding the Amazon Go store.
Amazon Echo & Alexa: This is where Amazon really got popular. They introduced the first smart speaker; A wireless with their virtual assistant, Alexa, built in. They’ve since launched multiple variations of the original, and added more advanced versions with video capability.
Amazon Dash Buttons: How cool is it to have a physical button these days?! Bueller? Maybe it’s just me, but there something to be said about tactile buttons, especially in a digital world.
Alexa Integration: So many devices are Alexa enabled these days, it’s rather convenient. The more you connect, to more added value you get, and convenience added to your life. Don’t forget that automation rules the nation. I use both Alexa & Google Assistant integration at home to control my environment; you should definite try this at home.
Amazon Prime: When Prime was launched, Amazon changed the distribution and shipping industries forever. There’s an endless sea of products you can purchase, and have shipped, and arrive to your door in two days. You can also give the delivery person access to you home, thus eliminating stolen packages.
Ring: Ring has always been one of my favorite startups, and I love their products. They were first to market with the smart doorbell; the Sharks on Shark Tank turned down the chance for buy-in on them in their early “Doorbot” years. Ring brings an alarm system, smart lighting for exterior and security purposes, and a hopeful future for smart homes in general. Take a look at what’s to come this year from Ring. If I was a betting man, I’d say that in the not so distant 2018, we will see Ring devices with Alexa built in. But who am I to say?
Amazon is certainly making everyone aware that they aren’t joking around, and they are a force to be reckoned with. Within my own industry, automation and integration, we have adopted the Echo platform so much that we now have Speaker shaped housings, and distributed amplification for Echo dots. Full-scale automation systems manufacturers, are adding Alexa control, and gladly doing it, because they don’t want to not be considered against the competition.
Amazon also offers much more like a music and video service, tablets, Kindles and e-readers, streaming media sticks and more. As time progresses, more technology and retail acquisitions are bound to happen, but are you okay with that, or will you choose from the competing offerings?
Stay tuned for Amazon VS. Google Part 2, where I’ll dive into the world of Google and their similar but different experience. Don’t forget to leave me your thought below in the comments section, so we can keep the conversation going.