Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is planning to help people locate lost items through Alexa. The firm has invested in a company called TrackR which locates misplaced belongings through Bluetooth.
Amazon is yet to reveal the actual amount invested in the tracking firm, but it is rumored to be somewhere between $250,000 and $500,000. The partnership between the two companies will make it possible for Amazon Echo users to find missing items such as keys by asking Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa, which is one of the Echo’s features. The items have to be fitted with a Bluetooth device from TrackR.
The tracker will be considerably small in size but still efficient
The Bluetooth tracking device made by tracking company is the size of a coin and it is called Bravo. It is small and convenient enough to be attached to a set of keys, a remote controller or even a wallet. The company also has a mobile app that helps locate the misplaced item. The cost of one Bluetooth tag roughly $30 and it is advisable to purchase them in bulk so that they are fitted on more than just one item. The new partnership between the two firms will allow for the integration of the tracking feature to the Amazon Echo to allow easy hands-free searches through Alexa.
Rumors about the integration of TrackR and Echo popped up earlier this year during a consumer electronics show held in January. Voice technology has become increasingly popular among technology companies in different industries such as entertainment and the automotive industry. The mobile phone industry has a particular interest with various companies coming up with their own digital assistants. Some of them include Siri from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Cortana from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google Now from Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL).
Amazon competes with these companies through its digital assistant that is well integrated even in third party apps. A good example is the ability to order pizza from Dominos through a voice command to Alexa. Amazons investment in TrackR is part of the $100 million Alexa Fund set aside for investment in technology that the firm believes will enhance Alexa’s capabilities.