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Alexa, Google Assistant, and a bit of Houndify and Cortana

Amazon and Google were everywhere at CES. You couldn’t walk outside without being bombarded by electronic displays advertising Google Assistant. It seemed like every device being displayed had a companion Alexa Skill and Amazon itself, last year far from the action at the Aria, had taken over multiple ballrooms in the Venetian.

Skills and Actions are now the default for gadget makers. It’s the new mobile app if we compare to 2008. The challenge for brands and makers is how to create compelling interactions through voice vs novelty interactions. William Mougayar parleyed to us many years ago Larry Page’s “Toothbrush Test” and it’s important that device makers consider how their devices, through an Action or Skill, could compel someone to be engaged at least twice a day.

The opportunity that is going to happen is after all these devices and services are connected through their APIs to Alexa and Google Assistant — then automation can start to happen more fluidly and in anticipation of our desire.

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