Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo Stacey Higginbotham/Fortune

Amazon’s Virtual Assistant Alexa Now Boasts More Than 1,000 Skills

Jun 03, 2016

Amazon’s popular virtual assistant, Alexa, has gotten a whole smarter in the past six months. The tech giant boasted on Friday that Alexa now has 1,000 skills. That's up from just over one hundred skills that Amazon announced earlier this year.

Alexa has become popular through its ability to answer questions, turn on lights, order items like diapers, and even call you an Uber through the e-commerce giant’s voice-controlled home devices Echo and Echo Dot as well as its streaming device, Fire TV. Users simply utter a command instructing Alexa, like "Alexa, order an Uber to home."

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“Less than a year ago we released the Alexa Skills Kit, making it possible for any developer to create voice experiences for Alexa,” said Rob Pulciani, Amazon's director for Alexa in a statement. “Today, we have a vibrant community of tens of thousands of developers who are learning about the service, bringing useful and innovative skills to every aspect of Alexa customers’ lives, and introducing their own users to the magic and simplicity of hands-free, voice-driven interactions. We’re excited about the 1,000 skills that are already available, and can’t wait to see what developers create with the next ten thousand.”

Other interesting skills Alexa has to offer includes ordering a pizza from Domino's Pizza, controlling the temperature in the home, checking credit card balances, and monitoring calorie intakes and physical activity.

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Alexa's skills and technology have also helped Amazon turn the Echo into a new hardware hit. Unlike some of Amazon’s past tries at hardware, including the Fire phone, Echo has become so popular that Amazon sold out of the Internet-connected appliance, which retails for $180. Amazon (amzn) started selling more Echo devices in April, but quickly sold out again. Now, new Echo devices won’t ship until June.

Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos said this week that Alexa could end up becoming the fourth pillar of Amazon's business, adding to Amazon Prime, its cloud business AWS, and its retail marketplace. Bezos also said that he has more than 1,000 people working on Alexa's technology.

But Amazon could face steep competition soon. Google debuted its Alexa and Echo competitor, Google Home, in May. Apple is also reportedly working on a similar technology that will work within its streaming device, Apple TV.

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