Why vex your fingers by tapping an app when you can command a smart device to do your bidding? Amazon's Echo can now hail an Uber cab via a simple voice command.
Uber announced on 5 February that it is now supported by Amazon's voice command supportive virtual assistant device — Echo. Users can now order an Uber taxi via Echo, without even having to log onto the Uber app.
In its blog, Uber said: "The simplicity of ordering an Uber can be a magical experience and one that we continue to iterate on. Today we are excited to take it one step further by allowing you to request an Uber ride with just your voice. This is all made possible thanks to our the Uber API and our integration with Alexa, the brain behind Amazon Echo."
Amazon's Echo is a cloud-connected wireless voice-controlled speaker that allows hands-free commands. The smart device already supports music, weather, sports and news updates, apart from operating as a smart home hub by syncing all of one's smart appliances at home.
Users can now ask Echo's voice-controlled digital assistant Alexa to order a cab by saying specific commands like: "Alexa, order me an Uber" or Alexa, ask Uber to get me a ride". Users can also track how long their ordered cabs may take to reach their homes by saying: "Alexa, how far away is my Uber?"
Alexa, however, is not limited to only these commands. Uber said the digital assistant would also recognise other more generic commands like "Call me a taxi" or "Get me a ride", since the feature has been programmed by Amazon such that all commands relating to taxis, cabs and rides is synonymous with Uber.
Amazon's Echo is not the only voice-controlled digital assistant out there. Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana are its major rivals in the market. In efforts to outperform both tech giants' services, Echo has recently gone on a supportive-services offer spree by partnering with major third-party services like Spotify and Domino's.