Starbucks says it’s partnering with Amazon’s voice platform to offer what it calls “on command” ordering. Starting Monday, anyone who has an Amazon device with Alexa, like the Echo smart speaker, is able to place a Starbucks order by just using their voice.
Starbucks is also launching a beta test of voice ordering through its iPhone app. The Seattle-based coffee giant says the feature is being rolled out to a limited group of 1,000 people nationwide Monday. It plans to expand the feature later this year.
Starbucks chief technology officer Gerri Martin-Flickinger says in a statement that the company expects to “learn a lot from both of these experiences and to evolve them over time.”
Alexa also appeared on Android. Amazon.com Inc’s digital assistant appeared almost everywhere at the CES technology show early this month in Las Vegas, even made an unexpected appearance on rival Google’s Android system.
Most significantly Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co, which manufactures smartphones running on the Android operating system produced by Alphabet Inc’s Google, announced that its flagship handset will come with an app that gives users access to Alexa in the United States.
The adoption of Alexa by a prominent Android manufacturer indicates that Amazon may have opened up an early lead over Google as the companies race to present their digital assistants to as many people as possible, analysts said. Many in the technology industry believe that such voice-powered digital assistants will supplant keyboards and touch screens as a primary way consumers interact with devices.
( With inputs from AP)