Ahead of its annual fall hardware event, Amazon announced yesterday that it had created an alliance called the Voice Interoperability Initiative with more than 30 companies. The initiative was built around the companies' shared belief that voice-enabled devices should offer more flexibility to customers by being designed to support multiple voice services. Each of the voice services would work seamlessly alongside one another on one device with customers accessing specific voice services by using their respective wake word. With support for multiple, simultaneous wake words, customers would be able to choose which voice service to use according to their particular needs. More than 30 companies have joined the initiative including Amazon, Baidu, Microsoft, Salesforce, Spotify, Tencent, Orange and Verizon.
According to Amazon's Press release on the subject, the Voice Interoperability Initiative has four priorities:
Multiple voice services on each device will allow various kinds of voice assistants to emerge. For example, customers would be able to access voice assistants with a broad focus and knowledge (Alexa) as well as those with a deeper, and more narrow, context-specific knowledge (such as Salesforce's Einstein Voice, a CRM assistant) on the same device.
Of the companies currently involved the initiative, there are three prominent names missing: Google, Apple and Samsung.
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