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Article: Quit tapping your phone. Amazon thinks you'll talk to the smart home

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https://fortune.com/2015/07/01/amazon-internet-of-things/

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It’s not just the startups that benefit. Another company using access to Alexa is Octoblu, a division of enterprise software vendor Citrix. Amazon contacted the company after the Citrix CEO Mark Templeton met Amazon executives and told them how Octoblu engineers had built their own software to control the Echo. The Octoblu engineers used the Echo to control an internet connected Nest thermostat and even open the doors on a Tesla.

Now, with official support, Octoblu engineers are building voice commands in the Echo so office workers can tell Alexa to open a conference call or tell workers what’s on their calendar. Citrix is also working with Fortune 500 customers to link their offices and services to the Echo. For example, one client rents temporary residential apartments for executives, and has outfitted its apartments with Echo devices as a way to help guests learn how to operate the connected appliances in the apartment.

Chris Matthieu, director of IoT engineering at Citrix, said that the customer has used Octoblu’s software that can connect devices and services together, to set up the Echo to greet people when they enter the apartment. People staying there can also ask how to communicate with the Echo to control lights and other connected devices. “That’s a much easier and more intuitive way to communicate.” said Matthieu.

He’s already using the Echo to dial into conference calls and send reminders to people who are attending using a voice command. So it’s not just consumers with smart homes that stand to win here. As The Orange Chef’s Merea explains, “Voice is as frictionless as you can get.”