Over the last year, we’ve seen considerable progress in the use of voice interface technology, due in part to the success of Amazon’s (AMZN) Alexa, but also efforts by Alphabet and to a lesser extent Apple. Like most Disruptive Technologies, we are seeing the use cases continue to expand and ripple across our Cashless Consumption investing theme. Not surprising given Amazon’s efforts into voice-driven shopping as well as its online and mobile payments initiative known as Amazon Pay.
Amazon Pay is coming soon to apps developed for Amazon’s Alexa by third-party developers.
Starting out, Alexa’s payment-embedded skills will fall into the following categories: donations, restaurants and event ticketing.A developer preview made available yesterday also indicated that Alexa’s Amazon Pay-powered skills will expanded more dramatically in 2018. That change will roll out with a public beta for the Gadgets API, giving developers a chance to start making games that interact with the Echo Buttons for multi-person gameplay. Those will be in stores starting next month, according to reports. The new payments skill will likely leverage voice recognition technology, as Amazon has also announced that it will expand access to that capability as well.
Presently, only Amazon-built Echo apps can use voice recognition.Native payments for Alexa and Echo devices will allow Amazon to offer its 20+ thousand member developer base a chance to monetize their app creations. Thus far, so doing on the platform has been difficult as ads are mostly forbidden — with the exceptions of flash briefings and streaming audio, which are able to run ads.