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“Alexa, I need more Kleenex and 1000 shares of Amazon Stock”
Sure, we have heard a few complaints over the last few months about contractors listening to our recordings at Amazon, Apple, and others. An utter lack of transparency? Sure, but as quickly as the complaints were lodged, they were forgotten. That’s the byproduct of a society with a two second attention span and a lust for tech that allows us to lazily stare at our devices for umpteen hours per day.
While Alexa has found its way into our homes over the past few years, mostly it has been a single Echo device that has become an alarm clock, news download, kitchen timer, and background music system that has graced our homes. But what if Amazon could inspire us to wear Alexa in our ears, over our eyes, around our fingers, and keep her (it?) in our pocket? What if Alexa was plugged into every room in our home, joined us in our vehicle, became our hi-fi sound system, kept a bit of order to our daily meal planning, and simplified Wi-Fi around the house?
This is happening, and it is going to drive Amazon’s performance up and it stock is primed to go along for the ride.
100,000,000 Alexa Powered Devices Today Becomes a Billion in the Future
Early in 2019, Amazon touted a vague but inspiring number of 100,000,000 Alexa powered devices sold. Now not every one of these devices were made by Amazon, but they all were paying to license the technology. They all gave “Smart Home” capabilities to users to order those Kleenex, accessories, and an endless stream of unnecessariness by just saying the word. Don’t believe me? I have an extra fire pit and about 100 Cliff bars I never intend to eat. Thanks Alexa.
This is just the beginning days for Alexa and the always-connected human. We thought it was the phone, but the phone brought the app generation. That wasn’t a bad thing, but Amazon’s got something even better. Alexa tying humans to everything they need will be the next boon for data, commerce, and massive proliferation of our connected world.
Suddenly users have 3 or 4 Alexa devices per person, per house hold, that 100,000,000 quickly grows exponentially to more than a Billion devices. All of which track, monitor and offer immediate gratification of our every need. Order our groceries, book our dinner reservation, play our favorite songs and so on.
It’s New Hardware That Will Know Everything About You
With Amazon’s launch yesterday, we now have 14 new pieces of Alexa-powered hardware that will enable us to take Alexa everywhere. Many of these pieces of hardware can be had relatively inexpensively, for between $50-$200, and give us the ability to stay more connected, buy more stuff, and tell the e-commerce giant more about what we buy, when we buy it, and all of our other consumption habits. In short order, Amazon will know even more about what we listen to, who we call, where we go to dinner, our favorite travel destinations and, well, pretty much everything. Google knows our search intent—what we want to buy; Amazon will know everything.
And while not every product launched by Amazon is sure to be a hit, (See: The Fire phone), I’m sure that many of these products will be wildly successful. From the Echo Studio bringing hi-fi sound to every home for a couple hundred bucks to the new Amazon EERO mesh Wi-Fi that allows you to just ask Alexa to setup a guest network to the new $25 Amazon Echo Flex that lets you put an Alexa in every room of your home for less than the price of a decent alarm clock. Perhaps the only new product I’m not sure will sell in numbers is the Alexa Oven, but I could be completely wrong on that. I mean, what is it worth to be able to watch your chicken breasts cook to perfection during your long commute home?
Amazon Is Winning the Race for Customer Data
Bottom line, Amazon is making smart home and connected lives not only possible, but also very affordable. This will lead to significant sales growth for the hardware that will make that possible. But that is just the beginning, because we all know that the key to Amazon’s success is that they know who you, the consumer, is from the inside out. The expansion of the Amazon line will power the company to another level of customer insights, which will lead to greater spending and greater earnings for the ecommerce giant.
Even if a recession is looming, we will still need those Kleenex and Alexa is going to be everywhere we need it to be when it’s time to buy those staples. Amazon is about to go for an AI-powered bull run. So, you may want to ask Alexa to call your stockbroker before you miss the ride.
A version of this article first featured on MarketWatch and can be found here.
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Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.
Daniel Newman is the Chief Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio