Amazon, Alexa, Daniel Rouse Amazon Jefferson Graham discussed on The Voicebot Podcast
Daniel Rouse Amazon Jefferson Graham from USA Today Chris Albrecht from the spoon and Ben Fox Ruben of CNN. We get real time reactions from the Amazon product launch in Seattle. Hello OVOID BOT nation. This is your host. Brett Casella and I'm just back from a trip to Seattle for the now annual Amazon product launch event there were more than eighty announcements made during the day up from seventy last year Amazon and its divisions introduced fourteen new products and we saw several from third parties ranging from third reality to Hamilton Beach in my interviews views. We mostly cover the key product demonstrations largely because those are what received the most prominent in the onstage demonstrations after the four interviews. I have a segment in my analysis will conclude this week's episode be sure to share your thoughts and ideas here on twitter and linked in the first of my forecast is Daniel Rouse. He's he's Amazon's vice president of smart home. He's the most senior person from Amazon. We've had on the podcast thus far and giving his portfolio speaks with authority on Amazon's products in on their strategy. I know you're going to appreciate his insights in the first segment next up is Jefferson Graham of USA Today. Jeff is an expert in consumer tech reviews just about everything in offers unique insights and how the announcements from Amazon fit into the larger tech product landscape we Jefferson on last year for the Amazon product demand event and it was really great to give thoughts again after another year of Amazon expansion and the smart home and voice activated space third. Today's lineup is Chris Crispell Brek. He is writer at the spoon. He's the leading publication on food tech. I invited Kris to join the interview today because he's able to offer some unique insights into a few of the announcements from the event such as Amazon's new smart partnership with Food Network in even how echo buds will help you navigate a whole foods market. That was a really interesting demonstration. I have to say closing out. The interviews is Ben Fox. Ruben have seen it. He is seen as Amazon reporter with a long tenure intact attack and business reporting gives an uncommonly deep and broad understanding of Amazon and it was great to get him to weigh in on the recent events around Lexa Echo products addicts and privacy. I will then follow up the interviews with some of my own analysis. The newly announced products and services okay. Let's get started. First off is Daniel route vice president of SMART Home Amazon. ooh Okay breckon seller here. I am at the Amazon Alexa Product launch event. I don't even know if that's the official name. Is there an official name Daniel Jonathan. Is there an official name okay so this is the annual gathering now at the spheres that Amazon rolls out seventy eighty different announcements including new products and updates to products. I and I'm here with Daniel row. She was vice president overseeing all of the smart home initiatives for Amazon Daniel. Thank you for joining me super happy to be here okay so we've had an opportunity to talk a couple of times in the past and I think a lot of things that we talked about. We see a lot more of today so tell me what happened today. It's a continuation of your existing strategy and what happened today. In terms of the announcements that you think of his new I think there were kind of two broad themes as I say at one you saw saw US carrying Alexa along everywhere customers are asking for so you saw announcements about integrations with GM bringing Alexa deeply into another automaker in a great integration you saw Alexa on the dough with a whole set of wearable products that we announced today in our pods in frames in lieu so that's about selects ubiquity you saw US bring Echo studio out which is a great new echo for your home dot with the clock. You know all the traditional ways that you the peculiar announcements I guess if you'll call them that from Amazon here bringing Alexa every corner of the home and beyond that customers are asking for that sort of the first bucket as I associate I think the other bucket and the one that frankly spend most of my day job on is the smart home making it the three things we talked about today we're making it simpler making it smarter overall and making it safer for customers and there we had a whole series of announcements you know the first bucket on simpler. We WanNa make it so that any human can use a smart art home product. You don't have to be a hacker smart programmer. We announced a programme called certified for humans today so that we can make smart more approachable and we had a whole succession of announcements about making Alexa smarter through things like hunches and safer through things like Alexa Guard okay so let's talk about that certified for humans because because that has to do with Alexa connect kit but it's a lot more than that that's right so our notion with the sort of peculiar name is that the only only prerequisite for the smart home should be that your human being so we convene what we called non expert panel basically no. It directors allowed folks that would self admittedly say they're just unfortunate with technology and we basically had them test these products themselves a hundred percent of our panel channel was able to set up the Amazon smart plug with frustration free setup in two minutes the first time so we knew that these products would hit the bar. It's a it's a program over for a dozen criteria that we use to make sure that these products are truly simple and easy to use okay so setup is a big part of that but you explain to me earlier that it goes beyond setup so setups really important but what is it beyond setup. It's important for this certified for humans well. I'll tell you you know you want to make sure that those products stay connected. They're reliable and they don't have Gotcha. So I think a lot of smart home products today you end up thinking they're smart you get them set up through a bunch of arcane processes and a bunch of steps. APPs with your smartphone and then there's some Gotcha you have to pause using your door lock to wait for a software update when you're dumb door lock worked better in that moment when you can just use your hand and so I think those gotcha frustrating for customer so the certified for humans criteria include a ton of reliability requirements requirements like like software updates need to happen in the background when customers aren't using the product so we've got a lot about built into the program knowing that customers care about reliability and no Gotcha okay okay so last year you made a lot of headlines by introducing a microwave and some people thought it was funny. Some people thought it was I guess serious and maybe that you were going to go l. In start trying to kill off the most important categories that sell three Amazon dot com tell me a little bit about the Alexa connects kit and the chip and what you're doing along those lines and what we see with the Amazon oven in the microwave and what the real intention of those is the the the intention with the microwave last year and the Amazon smart of this is of course to build a great consumer product. That's our best selling microwave what we launched last year. It's a four point one star a product. We sophisticated that product by making a foreign one of in this year in the Amazon Smart Evan but of course the real story is having the pervasiveness of Alexa control in the home home for customers that want that and so the Alexa connected is what enables any manufacturer and developer to suddenly become overnight a developer of smart products. They don't have to worry about building cloud services. They simply integrate this chipset in series with their existing microcontrollers so that say fan or a light or anything in your home that uses power can become smart overnight through the integration of this chip. It's truly amazing for developers we when we launched the UK last year we had over a thousand developers expressed interest within weeks and now we're working with hundreds of developers to bring products to market so this year we already have that we've seen launch and there are launching in coming weeks a connected smart. Christmas tree where you can put it into candy cane mode. We've got a slow cooker. We've got an air freshener from procter in gamble. We've got of course our own smart oven and you'll see sort of this whole Conga line of products coming out over the next year from hundreds of developers working with the A. C. K. okay. I think a lot of people don't realize that the Amazon us. I don't remember the name of it but the microwave the Amazon oven don't have have microphones. That's right yeah.