Alexa has been working harmoniously alongside more and more voice assistants, including ones from Disney, Pioneer, and Sonos, and it’s about to become buddies with a new assistant, this time from Skullcandy.
Announced during today’s Alexa Live 2022 developer conference, Alexa will be able to work next to Skullcandy’s Skull-IQ voice assistant on the headphone manufacturer’s Push Active and Grind Fuel true wireless earbuds. The two assistants will join forces “later this year,” Amazon says.
First launched last year, the “Hey Skullcandy” assistant allows Push Active and Grind Fuel users to pause their tunes, skip tracks, adjust the volume, take calls, and fire up Spotify, all using voice commands.
Once Alexa lands on the Skullcandy headsets, users will be able to chat up both Alexa and the Skullcandy assistant, without having to deactivate one or the other first.
We’ve already seen Alexa cozy up to some other voice assistants, including Pioneer’s NP1, KI’s GiGA Genie, and “Hey Disney” (which is built on Amazon’s Alexa technology). Alexa also works alongside the recently launched Sonos Voice Control, with the two assistants now able to co-exist on Sonos’s various smart speakers and soundbars, such as the Sonos One, Roam, and Arc.
The move is part of Amazon’s ongoing Voice Interoperability Initiative, a consortium of more than 90 companies that aims to ensure that different voice assistants are able to work together on the same devices. The group includes such tech stalwarts as BMW, Bose, Dolby, Ecobee, Facebook, Garmin, Intel, Logitech, Sony, Spotify, and Verizon.
Unfortunately, three key players in the smart space–Apple, Google, and Samsung–aren’t on the list, which explains why we’ve yet to see Alexa work alongside Bixby, Google Assistant, or Siri on the same device.
Besides simply allowing different voice assistants to co-exist, Amazon is rolling out “universal device commands” that, for example, will allow users to set a timer using one voice assistant and cancel the timer using another assistant.