How often has any piece of consumer technology had as eventful a year as 2017 has been for Amazon’s Alexa voice service and Echo hardware?
Consider the evidence: A year ago, Amazon boasted that there were 4,000 Alexa skills–tasks the service can perform, from setting a Nest thermostat to playing Jeopardy–up from 135 the previous January. Today, the count stands at 25,000. Alexa can now make phone and video calls, distinguish between the voices of multiple household members, and display information on screens, none of which it was able to do when the year began. In August, Amazon and Microsoft even announced that Alexa and Cortana would be able to talk to each other, a first-of-its-kind arrangement in the voice-assistant market.
Read more at Fast Company.