At Berlin’s IFA 2018 show on Saturday, Amazon’s Vice President of smart home Daniel Rausch announced onstage that Alexa is now integrated with over 20,000 devices, marking a five-fold increase from 4,000 devices in just eight months (via CNET). Rausch also revealed that the number of brands using Alexa has shot up to 3,500 from 1,200 during the same period.
Rausch made a pitch to tech executives in the audience that voice assistants aren’t just for singing songs and that adding voice capabilities to certain devices has created a significant boost in sales.
He highlighted that some independent developers are now making thousands of dollars a month through Alexa while mentioning a 22-year-old college student who’s making $10,000 a month thanks to his Word of the Day skill.
Alexa started as a device for the home, and Rausch said Amazon plans to keep building up its capabilities there, too. “It turned out your smartphone is actually a pretty terrible remote control for your house. You don’t want to fish around in your pocket, open applications, unlock your phone to control the device that’s right in front of you,” Rausch said. “Voice has truly unlocked the smart home. That’s because it’s actually simpler.”
Rausch also noted that there are now over 50,000 Alexa skills, which Amazon calls its voice apps, and hundreds of thousands of developers in over 180 countries working on Alexa.