Alexa Ads Lest anyone thought Amazon Echo would be an ad-free zone, Alexa is getting ready to start pumping sponsored messages out with her skills. The ads will be run through a company called VoiceLabs, which has already started testing the messages. Brands including ESPN and Wendy's have been part of the test run, and developer including Federated Media will be part of the launch, according to VoiceLabs.
The ads will be part of a platform called Sponsored Messages, and VoiceLabs says that messages will be parsed out so that they're heard after certain interims. The ads will be tied to Alexa's skills, which is what Amazon calls its actions or abilities. So after 15 skills, for example, users may hear an advertisement. VoiceLabs says this will be a way for app developers to recoup costs of making and supporting their apps.
Text Siri Apple has a new patent that would let users text Siri instead of relying on voice—the only way to engage with the digital assistant today. No word on when, or if, the ability will ever be woven into Siri. But rumors say this could be a part of iOS 10, the next mobile operating system upgrade.