A new investment from Amazon in Bluetooth technology could further boost the capabilities of its voice-controlled Alexa platform.
According to reports from Reuters, Amazon is investing between $250,000 and $500,000 in TrackR, a Bluetooth tech company that helps users keep track of lost items.
The money for the investment came from Amazon’s $100 million “Alexa Fund,” which invests in and supports technologies that add to Alexa’s many abilities. Unlike other products in the market, Amazon allows non-Amazon devices to incorporate Alexa technology.
TrackR uses Bluetooth to help find lost items by using a coin-sized chip and a corresponding app. The chip, deemed the TrackR bravo, is attached to phones, wallets or anything else of value and, if it goes missing, TrackR can locate the item in an instant.
By pairing this tech with Amazon’s devices, users could simply ask, “Alexa, where is my wallet?” and the device would help them find it in seconds. It’s a collaboration that could mean big things for the TecHome, builders and integrators alike as well as the future of voice-controlled possibilities.
“The ability to bring on more partners and realize that you are building an entire ecosystem – I think that is what was really important for us,” Chris Herbert tells Reuters. Herbert co-founded TrackR with friend Christian Smith in 2009.
The Alexa Fund has been utilized to combine the Echo’s voice control with various devices in the TecHome. It has made 15 investments thus far, which include:
The Orange Chef, which is used to connect kitchen prep devices.
Garageio, a connected garage door opener.
Rachio, a smart sprinkler system.
Musaic, a wireless home audio system.
With multi-millions left in its investment fund, one can only guess what Amazon will invest in next to further connect the home with voice control.
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