The Amazfit Verge Smartwatch from Xiaomi’s Huami Adds Alexa Support
Huami, a sub-brand of Xiaomi, recently added Alexa to its highly-regarded smartwatch, called the Amazfit Verge. In addition to the smartwatch becoming Alexa-enabled, the Amazfit Verge has received a 2019 Red Dot Award for Product Design and announced support for iOS calling and translation services for more than 50 languages. Alexa is built-in to the $159.99 smartwatch, allowing users all the normal functionality of the voice assistant. Users will be able to ask Alexa for flash briefings, sports updates, their calendar schedule, to set alarms, create to-do lists, general queries, language translations, among other features. Huami is the second largest wearables company globally, and Elaine Huo, Marketing Director at Huami commented on the Alexa integration,
Like Alexa, we believe the Amazfit Verge is non-intrusive but indispensable, making this a natural integration. As a company, we are obsessed with finding the perfect balance between form and functionality — style and customization, plus continuity and ease of use to make busy days smoother and more productive.
Amazfit Verge Is Known as Budget Friedly and High Quality
Prior to the addition of Alexa, the Amazfit Verge was receiving positive reviews. At the time of the smartwatch’s launch late March, Basil Kronfi of TechRadar gave the smartwatch a 4/5 star rating. It features a heart rate monitor, GPS, color OLED screen, dual-core processor, Bluetooth connection, a 5-day battery life, and an IP68 water and dust resistant case.
AndroidCentral’s Harish Jonnalagadda reviewed the Amazfit Verge with a 4.5/5 star rating when it launched, saying,
The Amazfit Verge does a great job bringing features that were thus far relegated to products costing over $300…The fact that you get all of these features for just $160 is staggering and makes the Verge a standout fitness-focused smartwatch.
Based on these reviews, we can surmise that the inclusion of Alexa is not intended to overcompensate for a poor-performing product. The inclusion of Alexa in this high-regarded wearable is a smart move for both Huami and Amazon. Huami is able to take advantage of Amazon’s voice assistant market share in the U.S., and Amazon is able to promote Alexa in a market it has yet to dip its own toe in: wearables.
Amazon’s Push for Alexa Wearable Integration
Although Amazon does not produce its own line of Alexa wearables, the company definitely works to make Alexa-enabled wearables easy for manufacturers to implement. Last year Amazon released the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit, which enables OEM’s to add Alexa to their devices with a minimum investment in hardware or integration efforts. The bulk of coding generally required for Alexa integration into a device is not necessary with the use of the kit, as it can connect directly to the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) via the Amazon Alexa App for Android and iOS.
Amazon also makes available the AVS Device SDK designed for commercial device makers, which provides C++ based libraries that enable a device to process audio inputs and triggers, establishing persistent connections with AVS to handle all Alexa interactions. The inclusion of Alexa into the Huami Amazfit Verge is a great example of a tech company taking advantage of Alexa’s market share, and of Amazon further pushing Alexa into every field it can.