Starbucks will be launching the "Starbucks Reorder Skill" on the Amazon Alexa platform to allow people to make orders by simply using their voice. But the vocal ordering process appeared seamless in the video presentation-and Starbucks promised that orders will be booked accurately.
My Starbucks barista was previously announced at the company's Investor Day in December, and uses an AI-powered messaging interface like many existing chatbots. It's a fortuitous time for Starbucks to jump on the virtual assistant bandwagon, ensuring that it carves a place for itself in the emerging market. The coffee shop mega-chain is now rolling out a new voice assistant called Barista to a very, very small number of beta testers on iOS. This allows you to place your favorite Starbucks order just by saying, "Alexa, order my Starbucks".
Essentially, this feature is an extension of Starbucks Mobile Order & Pay services, which allows customers to order and pay for their items before arriving at their store.
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For now the app is launching in beta for a small portion of users of the Starbucks iOS app (around one thousand across the USA on iOS), but the company plans a wider roll out for later this year during the summer. It will see a wider release this summer, followed by implementation in the Android app by the end of the year.
The launches come at a time when voice computing is on the rise.
As with Alexa's Domino's Pizza skill, placing an order with Alexa voice commands is simple, but limited.
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Connectivity no longer just means mobile. The digital chatbot, much like the chat apps that have become popular in Facebook Messenger, uses artificial intelligence by way of natural language processing to facilitate ordering.
"The Starbucks experience is built on the personal connection between our barista and customers, so everything we do in our digital ecosystem must reflect that sensibility", Gerri Martin-Flickinger, chief technology officer for Starbucks, said in a statement. "Our team is focused on making sure that voice ordering within our app is truly personal".
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