With Amazon’s new announcement to unveil ‘Alexa for business’ back in December 2017, many businesses are asking questions that they haven’t before like; "why does my business need voice control?’"
As we know, the Amazon Echo revolutionized how we live at home; it’s a device that has many benefits in the home, ordering groceries, organizing calendars, ordering pizzas and flowers and listening to music, and that’s just the beginning! But what are the benefits of having one in your business? While our homes have become fully voice controlled, most businesses fall very short of this high-tech future-focused way of living. Often, they are time-capsules into the past- with technology in a desperate need of an upgrade. The thing is, if any area of our society needs an upgrade in technology, it’s the businesses and entrepreneurs. Businesses are now consisting of individuals often spread across the globe rather than across the corridor. Upgrading your technology instantly makes your business more accessible not only to customers but to employees.
To fully explore the many uses and benefits, it’s worth taking a look the different areas of your business that will benefit the most from an Amazon Echo. Bear in mind while only a few are mentioned in this article, the list will only continue to grow! Through upgrading your office and its equipment, you will soon be able to control nearly every aspect of your business with voice control.
If your business needs to be yanked out of the Stone Age, these are some areas that are worth investing in for a future ready, voice controllable business:
One of the biggest areas where businesses loose productivity is in meetings. One of the most exciting prospects of having Alexa in meetings is the efficiency and convenience that voice control provides. There are many products in development specifically designed for meeting spaces that will see this put to action. Case in point is Optoma’s new Alexa-enabled home-theater projector- it’s only a matter of time before many virtually assisted projectors are available for business use. There are already voice controlled products designed for use in meetings that are available. Last year IBM and Ricoh announced the release of their interactive whiteboards that are integrated with intelligence and voice technologies. Cisco has launched their Cisco Spark Assistant website, which it says is “the world’s first enterprise-ready voice assistant specifically designed for meetings.” Also, excitingly, Crestron, which makes automation and control systems for homes and offices, introduced an Alexa skill developed with Alexa for Business. Giving commands such as “Alexa, start my meeting” will trigger a new web conference or bring up a presentation for display in a conference room, among other actions.
This spring, Amazon is releasing an Alexa Windows 10 app. HP, Asus, Acer, and Lenovo are all releasing computers this year with Intel’s Smart Sound technology for far-field voice recognition. This will provide better support for virtual assistant voice commands for Alexa as well as Microsoft’s competing assistant, Cortana. Having a desktop PC or laptop with enabled voice command services will open up many opportunities for more productivity.
Security systems are also upgrading to voice control. Now your locks are getting smarter too! Nearly all major lock companies—as well as a few startups—are getting into the game. Smart locks not only sense your presence (via your smartphone) and unlock automatically. They also allow you to issue temporary digital keys to anyone you'd like to grant temporary entrance into your home. Systems such as the August Smart Lock (2nd Gen), Scout Alarm, Netgear Arlo Security Cameras and Ring Doorbells are already developed for home use. These technologies are being made more and more applicable for business use.
With just a few upgrades, your business will be able to spend many more hours on productivity. Not only are these systems designed to help your business save time, they are designed to be supported and a part of your business for many years to come. Voice control is definitely the way of the future and Alexa is sure to be a part of our homes and offices for years to come.