Amazon’s Alexa is now ready to take your order. The voice interaction-based AI assistant has been programmed with a new ‘skill’ allowing it to take meal orders from customers using its Amazon Restaurants service.
The ordering system is available to Alexa users who have previously ordered meals from restaurants participating in Amazon’s restaurant network. A user can ask Alexa to order a meal that they’ve had before, and that meal will be delivered for free within an hour. Users don’t even need to be very specific; for example, asking Alexa to order Italian food will prompt the system to list previous Italian-related orders from Amazon Restaurants.
While Amazon has lately been relying more on third party developers to bring new ‘skills’ to Alexa, its effort here indicates the continuing – and perhaps growing – importance of making Alexa a central hub of the smart home as other competitors seek to bring their own such solutions to market.
Alexa’s new food ordering skill is available for Amazon Prime members using Amazon Echo and Echo Dot devices, with Amazon Restaurants in operation in over 20 major cities across the US.