Microsoft Working With Third-Party Manufacturers To Make Echo Competitors

What Happened
Microsoft is looking to take on the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home as the company announced on Tuesday it is releasing a Cortana Devices SDK to allow third-party OEMs to integrate its digital assistant service into hardware devices such as speakers, smart home appliances, and even connected cars. Smart devices integrated with Cortana will have “real-time, two-way audio communications with Skype, e-mail, calendar, and list integration,” according to Microsoft. The first of such conversational devices will be a Cortana-enabled speaker made by Harman Kardon set to launch in early 2017.

What Brands Should Do
This announcement indicates Microsoft’s third party-sourcing strategy in competing with Amazon and Google in the conversational service space, which should help push Cortana into more products. As the tech giants continue to push their respective conversational services into the consumer market, more and more mainstream consumers will soon become reachable via these voice-based devices. Brands that wish to stay ahead of the digital curve should start exploring opportunities in building advanced applications for these emerging platforms with highly engaging conversational user experiences.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on messaging apps and other conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client and learning opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.


Source: Ars Technica