It’s always useful to consult Google when wondering about the opening and closing times of a business close to you, or even just to get the business’s phone number or address. It’s been revealed though, that Alexa has gone one step forward as you can now get this information without ever have to pick up your phone or flex your fingers.
Amazon’s voice assistant will now respond to queries such as what time does a certain restaurant close at and or what is the contact number for a certain hair salon.
"Today is a quantum leap forward in Yext's mission to give businesses control over their digital knowledge and provide consumers with perfect information everywhere," said Howard Lerman, founder, and CEO of Yext, in a statement. "Amazon has changed the world with its innovative, market-leading voice-enabled devices, the Amazon Echo family of smart speakers, and the Alexa voice service."
"Now, the tens of millions of consumers who ask Alexa questions can get authoritative answers from the business itself with the Yext Knowledge Engine."
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Presently, this new update isn’t available worldwide. At the moment, it’s solely limited to a select number of nations, including the US, Canada, Australia, and India. Nevertheless, according to a statement about the partnership on Yext’s website, there are plans to go ahead with the development in other countries in the future.
In the past, Alexa has been able to utilize Yelp in order to provide information on local businesses, however, Yelp often lacks important information about said businesses, most notably their opening and closing hours. Yext has now put this problem to rest; the difference is that Yext’s information comes directly from businesses themselves.
Speaking to Forbes, Lerman explained that Alexa will have information on an estimated 1.2 million businesses and locations. Apart from this, the voice assistant will have some more stimulating facts: he claims you will be able to ask Alexa how many calories are in a Big Mac.
This new development in Alexa’s technology is thought to give it a boost in terms of its competition will Google Assistant. Recently, Google’s device has made major advancements in similar areas. Assistant can list local restaurants along with their ratings, address, directions, opening/closing hours and contact numbers. Google can do this by utilizing information from its own search engine.