Amazon recently unveiled Echosim.io, a site that emulates the functionality of an Amazon Echo speaker, bringing the Alexa voice assistant technology to desktops.
Alexa already shows its worth in devices such as the Amazon Echo or its smaller variants, the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap, but users who don't own the gadgets are missing out. Thanks to the new tool, the situation will change.
The idea that led to Echosim was developed by Sam Machin in a 2015 hackathon and was dubbed Alexa in the Browser. As for how it works?
It's really easy to tap into Alexa's potential on desktop systems. Simply go to Echosim.io and sign in with your Amazon username and password, then hold your mouse over the microphone button and start interacting with the voice assistant. Obviously, you will need a working microphone to throw more or less serious questions at the AI.
Not only the customer sector will benefit from the integration, however.
"Developers worldwide can use Echosim to experience Alexa," writes Glenn Cameron, the developer marketing manager for Amazon Alexa.
The app could not have landed at a better time.
Apple has already announced that it wants to roll out a Siri software development kit (SDK), a tool that will help coders boost their apps via Siri's features. Not just that, but insiders from the company note that Apple will enable Siri on the Apple TV set-top box. This would be a strong counterproposal to Amazon's Echo.
However, it seems that Amazon has a head start, while Siri is landing on OS X later this year.
The two major tech players are not the only ones to tap into speech recognition abilities. Google has also made the feature available on desktop systems. The Google Assistant tech already works in some versions of Google Docs, and the company is looking forward to giving third-party devs the keys to its chest of wonders.
The enterprise says that the Google Home speaker will let people interact verbally with the Google Assistant, adding another name on the list of Alexa's rivals.
Here is a thorough comparison between what Google Home and Amazon Echo can do.