Monday, June 30, 2014

How Will Amazon's Fire Phone Compare to the Rest? Should "MayDay" Evolve into a Virtual Assistant?

A couple weeks ago, Amazon unveiled their latest device to hit the market soon, the Fire Phone. As noted in the video, it has the look of standard smartphones, but inhabits a couple new features unique to the Fire Phone. For example, Dynamic Perspective takes 3D display technology to a whole new level. "The display is meant to give viewers a sense of looking deeper into the screen (technically called positive parallax) rather than creating images that "jump out" (negative parallax)." (How 'Dynamic Perspective' Brings 3D to the Amazon Fire Phone). 

With innovative components such as Dynamic Perspective and Firefly (a universal product scanner that allows you to identify and buy objects, in real time), you would think Amazon has a chance to compete with the top brands in the smartphone space (e.g. Samsung, Apple, and more). But with all these new features, a lot of technical support questions will follow. Similar to Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX, the Fire Phone will have a MayDay button to provide 24/7, live support via video chat. Using this as a first line of defense for support can quickly become expensive and time consuming. According to an analyst, Dan Miller, at Opus Research, "If the MayDay 'rep' continues to be a live agent, it will be a matter of training, workforce optimization and knowledge management. Yet I still maintain that, for MayDay to be done right, it is just a matter of time before it turns into a fully automated intelligent assistant, in which case it will depend on advances in life-like automated speech, natural language processing (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML)." (Amazon's "Fire" Phone and MayDay Will Redefine "Mobile Assistance"). 

With the increasing volume of MayDay users approaching, do you agree that Amazon will need to turn MayDay into a Virtual Assistant? What about  the absence of a 'butler-style' Virtual Assistant (i.e. Siri, Google Now, Cortana, etc.). Will this effect sales and/or user satisfaction? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.