In addition to those aforementioned product lines, Acer says that its Aspire, Switch and Swift notebooks along with the Aspire all-in-one desktop will also have Alexa baked in over the coming weeks. Acer is leveraging Intel Smart Sound Technology, which includes an integrated audio DSP to handle voice requests. Smart Sound is also capable of waking your device from Modern Standby, making it available for action using just the sound of your voice.
The Spin 5 will have the most advanced setup of the incoming Acer PCs with four far-field microphones that are able to pick up your voice from across a noisy room. The rest of Acer’s notebook family will use dual near-field microphones to listen for your voice. For those of you that currently own a supported Spin 5 or Spin 3 convertible, Acer will be pushing out updates on May 23rd and May 26th respectively.
“We’re delighted to work with Acer to bring Alexa to customers in new ways,” said Steve Rabuchin, VP for Amazon Alexa. “We believe customers should be able to interact with Alexa wherever they might need her, including from their PCs, in order to take advantage of the simplicity of voice control.”
Alexa is perhaps the most dominant force in the AI speaker market courtesy of the Amazon Echo family of products and is looking to “crossover” to Windows 10 PCs to extend its lead and broaden its appeal with developers. Microsoft’s Cortana AI assistant has been baked into Windows 10 ever since the operating system first shipped in the summer of 2015, but Cortana hasn’t had much success beyond the PC platform.
Amazon and Microsoft are currently working together to make Cortana and Alexa compatible with each other. With this partnership, you will be able to access Cortana from an Amazon Echo speaker or Alexa from a Windows 10 PC. However, the two companies haven’t announced when this integration will be available to the public.