Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Boris Marčetić, Creative Director, Popular Bruketa & Žinić OM
A couple of nights ago I was having a good time. A friend’s wife had a girls’ night out and he was stuck with babysitting so he invited me over to hang out over a couple of beers.
As soon as I got there, he started showing off his new gadget, by yelling in the direction of a small cylindrical box: “Alexa, tell me a Chuck Norris joke”… And that was my first encounter with the home gadget called Amazon Echo, developed by the world’s largest online retailer – Amazon.
Amazon Echo is a combination of a speaker and a virtual assistant which you control by voice command, and it answers to the name Alexa. You could say that Alexa is Amazon’s household counterpart to Apple’s Siri.
If you’ve never had the chance to see/hear Alexa in action, check it out here:
Alexa is always ready to answer your questions, reminds you of your daily responsibilities, reads you the news, weather, stock exchange reports, tells jokes, recommends places to go … Alexa lets you control the room temperature, light and other electrical devices with your voice. This is the device you stream music or movies through, and that allows you to order almost anything online – from household items to Uber rides.
In short – it’s a device you’ll fall in love with at first sight, or at first command. And you get all this for a mere $ 120!
Where’s the catch? Of course it lies in Amazon’s assessment that the comfort that giving orders to Alexa provides will encourage you to buy everything you need through their service. And why wouldn’t you. Is it not perfect – to just sit comfortably watching a movie, and simply shout: “Alexa, order me a pepperoni pizza from Dominoes”, and a hot dinner arrives at your doorstep in less than 30 minutes!
This begs the question as to whether this is the only benefit that Amazon gains from you using their virtual assistant. As stated on its website – Alexa constantly learns and becomes smarter. The more you interact with her, the more she gets used to the color of your voice, your vocabulary and the phrases that you use…
And does the user also get used to Alexa? Are we going to get so lulled over time that we will cede all possibility of making choices to a system in which we have acquired unconditional trust? Will we just say, “Alexa, I’m hungry!”, and Amazon will already know what meal they should deliver to you at a specific moment in time. Or will we actually leave decisions about when and how much we need to eat to a system that will independently deliver to us the items it wishes?
In any case, Amazon’s Alexa is a tectonic shift in the IT industry. Many experts estimate that there hasn’t been a device that has made a greater technological shift since the first smartphone. Even Google is announcing their response to Alexa for the end of 2016 – a virtual home assistant called Google Home. It is yet unknown what services this device will offer. And what information will it expect in return?
Will our virtual home assistants of the future know exactly when we eat, when we sleep, when we are happy, when we are sad, when we make love? And what are all the ways they can use this information? And how should companies, brands and advertising industry prepare for this next big thing? We’ll find out soon.
As I said, I had a great time while babysitting with my friend. We drank beer, ate snacks, exchanged fatherly advice, gossiped about our wives, made important business plans…
And all along Alexa stood silently in the corner, listening.