They say time flies when you’re having fun. Couldn’t have been truer for our relationship with Amazon Alexa, which just turned four in India! Over these last four years, millions of Indian users have interacted with Alexa using voice service in English, Hindi and Hinglish on a wide range of Echo devices, Fire TV, Amazon shopping app on Android, and many third-party devices with built-in Alexa. And if you thought this obsession with Alexa is limited to tech dudebros and dudettes in metro cities, think again - almost 50% of Indian Alexa users are from non-metro cities.
On a personal note, I should add that gifting an Echo Dot to my parents on their anniversary was the best decision ever. While I write this in Delhi, I know for a fact in a couple of hours I’ll get an Echo to Echo call from my mom or my dad chilling in Guwahati, just checking up on me, as many Indian parents often do. As someone who’s been yearning to go home for a while, this is easily the next best thing. These hands-free, no agenda “how’s your day?” chats have literally kept me sane these last couple of years. But moving on to more tangible “big picture” data from 2021, here’s some interesting trivia about how Alexa has become ingrained in our lives.
Alexa entertained customers by playing more than 21.6 Lakh songs every day. Genres such as kids, devotional and regional language were more prominent in the top 20 songs.
More than 2.6 Lakh requests for controlling smart home appliances were made every day.
People quizzed Alexa with around 1.7 Lakh questions everyday, with topics ranging from sports, weather, movie dialogues, stock market updates, and (this is my favourite one) tough math problems.
Alexa also helped fight misinformation by quoting fact-checked information when almost 11,500 COVID-related questions were asked every day during March-April 2021.
Users also started and wrapped up their days with Alexa with more than 11,520 “Alexa, good morning” and “Alexa, good night” messages every day.
Alexa also made people feel good about themselves by supplying some much needed ego boost when people asked “Alexa, meri tareef karo” more than 7,200 times a day.
Users also expressed their love for Alexa by saying “Alexa, I love you” and “Alexa, will you marry me?” more than 5,700 times every day.
On top of that, the team behind Alexa also introduced some entertaining innovations for Indian users. One of the most popular ones was the ability to interact with the iconic voice of Amitabh Bachchan on Alexa. This also came packed with features such as narrating stories from Mr. Bachchan’s life, reciting poems written by his father, tongue twisters and even asking fun pop culture questions such as - “Amit ji, Kitne aadmi the?”
Even in terms of accessibility, 2021 was a great year for Alexa users. Amazon launched a fresh line for Alexa-enabled devices like Echo Show 10, the 2nd Gen Echo Show 8, the 2nd Gen Echo Show 5, Fire TV Cube and Fire TV Stick 4K Max with Alexa Voice Remote. Even 3rd party brands such as Xiaomi, boAt, OnePLus, Zebronics, Mahindra came on board the Alexa family.
All of this makes you wonder, doesn’t it - how smart AI keeps getting smarter every day. Little learnings every day, but at scale - it all builds up and looking at this data from a year on year lens really makes the picture clearer. Alexa isn’t merely a voice behind some tech - it’s actually a part of our lives.