The digital assistant system of Amazon, Alexa is going to sound more like human with emotions, whispers, and pauses. Per the announcement from Amazon, the new skills will be added soon to enhance the total experience of the digital assistant from the online retailer. The new skills come in the form of Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) and would even “bleep” out words.
The skills are handed over to the Alexa app developers, and it would help them to offer customized voice experience through their apps with better control on volume, emotion, and intonation. While Amazon allows considerable changes in modulation of the voice, there are limitations set by the firm to control the extremeness including high pitch. There are five speech standards, or SSML have been added to the system, and that includes whispers, emphasis, substitutions, expletive beeps, and prosody.
Interestingly, the U.K. and German developers got “speechcons” introduced in their market. It would help the developers to add country specific phrases into the Alexa. Earlier this year, the online retailer launched the feature for the first time in U.S. with some limited words. Now, people in U.K. may experience “Bada-bing” or “Boom” in Alexa like how U.S. customers experience “gotcha,” “ahem,” and more. Experts suggest that the new advancement in the personal assistant system can add more fun similar to how Apple transformed Siri to a more engaging platform.
It was in November 2014, Amazon unveiled the digital assistance system through its smart speaker called Amazon Echo. The retailer behemoth focused on expanding the platform and created an option for app developers to add new skills. From the primitive stage in the initial days, Alexa grew as a highly useful digital assistance system with the addition of more than 12,000 skills until the date. Apart from voice interaction and providing various updates, the platform is also beneficial to control the smart devices. Most of the electronics and home appliances manufacturers are now supporting the Alexa platform.
The big four companies in tech are in a real fight to capture the digital assistant market which is reported to touch $15.8 billion by 2021. Apple Siri can’t integrate with Android devices; Microsoft Cortana is mostly trapped into the limited Windows platform; Google Assistant is struggling with its still-primitive smart speaker system called Google Home. This gives a greater opportunity for Alexa to capture the market by adding more skills and enhancing the experience.