Amazon & Qualcomm Partner To Bring Alexa To More Headphones
Alexa is Amazon’s virtual assistant which was first seen in 2016 on the Amazon Echo & Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers. Alexa can interact with humans via voice commands making searches easy and natural.
Amazon is partnering with Qualcomm to bring Alexa voice assistant to more wireless earphones. Qualcomm will develop and manufacture new embeddable chips for other manufacturers who can incorporate them into their earphones. The chip will provide these earphones with Amazon’s voice assistant.
One similar concept is Apple’s AirPods with voice assistant capabilities. Apple AirPods allow users to interact with their virtual assistant Siri by a simple tap. Even Google allows other companies to integrate their Google Now virtual assistant into their wireless earphones. The latest example of it is the Nokia True wireless Earbuds & Pro Wireless Earphones.
Earlier this year, Sony announced that a lot of their earphone models will support Alexa assistant after a software update. Companies like Bose and Jabra also have a few Alexa supporting earphone models in their portfolio. Qualcomm has already showcased a chip that can be integrated by 3rd party manufacturers to attain Alexa support. Qualcomm also said that the partnership with other manufacturers will help them drive down the costs and adoption of their chips. These chips will open up a whole new market for Qualcomm. Hence, they can diverge into other markets and decrease their revenue dependence on mobile phone processors.
This is a bankable future option for Qualcomm. Although, it requires patent licensing and regulatory fees from companies like Apple. At a recent conference held in Hong-Kong, Qualcomm announced they are also working with action camera makers like GoPro to incorporate Qualcomm chips in their devices. Qualcomm expects to achieve $ 5 billion in revenue from non-mobile sources in 2018. This expected revenue will make up for 20% of their sales revenue which according to analysts will be $ 22 billion.