Get ready: Alexa is finally coming to wearables
Alexa — Amazon’s voice-activated personal assistant — has quickly and powerfully changed how we get things done. Instead of grabbing a sheet of paper and pen from the drawer to write a grocery list, people simply use specific commands and let Alexa do the work as they sit across the room. The same goes for calling a taxi or learning about the day’s headlines.
If you’re eager to start using Alexa in more ways than ever, take note that Bragi, a manufacturer of wireless accessories, has announced compatibility with Alexa and its Dash and Dash Pro models of headphones.
How Will It Work?
With help from the user’s mobile phone and a supplementary Bragi app, it’ll be possible to tap the smartphone screen to launch the app and then connect with Alexa. The technology can handle tasks such as getting information or shopping for things from Amazon.
Headphones Are Compatible With Other Voice-Activated Technologies, Too
Although this news represents a substantial development for Alexa users, it’s not the first time users could use voice-activated technology and wireless products together. To combine Apple’s Siri assistant with Bluetooth headphones, for example, just press and hold the Call button on the accessories.
However, the major difference between Siri and Alexa, in this case, is that Siri works with all brands of Bluetooth wearables and not just ones from a certain manufacturer. It’s easy to see, then, that Bragi recognized an opening in an already successful marketplace and moved to seize the opportunity. Although it’s likely other companies will quickly follow suit in the months ahead, Bragi offers the sole purchasing option for now.
Basics About the Functionality
Perhaps the question that’s most pressing on your mind is related to how soon it’ll be before you can synch Alexa with one of the previously mentioned types of Bragi headphones. It’ll reportedly be possible in October, and the update will offer support for British and American English, as well as German.
The pairing of a Bragi wearable and Alexa will allow users to control their smart homes, which is helpful if a person is running errands around town and realizes the lights were left on or the thermostat is too high. Ordering a previously stored beloved Starbucks beverage is another thing Alexa can do with the help of the proper Bragi headphones.
What Might the Future Hold?
The function examples above should clarify why Alexa’s new capabilities are promising for busy people who are always on the go and use hands-free technology regularly. However, it’s also fascinating to ponder how people could rely upon Alexa-responsive headphones in other ways outside of everyday use.
A wearable device has shown what’s possible in the retail industry, but not in the way you might expect. Lowe’s and Virginia Tech teamed up to create a wearable robotic exosuit that aids employees in lifting heavy objects. It absorbs energy and transfers it back to the user, so hefty things feel significantly lighter.
That’s a cool advancement, but is probably prohibitively costly for many establishments. Imagine what might be possible if a retail worker used Alexa and a compatible Bragi product and spoke into the device’s microphone to trigger a notification to someone who worked in the stockroom. That person could use a robot and lift down a box of the desired product from a high shelf.
The stockroom employee would be accustomed to depending on machinery to make lifting easier. However, the addition of Alexa and the earbuds could streamline communications and provide the person working in the stocking department with adequate time to locate products without feeling rushed.
The hands-free design of the technology used would also mean an individual would not have to press a button on a radio to contact someone in another part of the store. That reality would be very useful if a person were loaded down with merchandise while replenishing products on the sales floor and noticed low quantities of an in-demand item.
It’s too early to say with certainty whether Alexa and Bragi wearables will indeed be a welcome combination. However, the likelihood seems very high, especially considering the potential for those products outside of the consumer realm in sectors like manufacturing and retail.
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