Starbucks has initiated the testing of voice command capabilities integrated as ‘My Starbucks Barista’ in their app on iOS and ‘Starbucks Reorder Skill’ on Amazon Alexa. Currently, only accessible by 1000 customers, the new feature enables users to order their food and beverages using voice similar to how users interact with Siri, Google and Cortana.
For iOS users, the voice ability feature, called My Starbucks barista, is integrated in the iOS app and allows customers to place orders, make changes to existing orders and even pay for them. The voice command interface also offers a text alternative to voice; where customers can place their orders using similar to messaging apps. The artificial intelligence in the app works to deliver a real time interaction experience to customers, allowing them to easily complete their orders via voice or text.
On Amazon Alexa, Starbucks has introduced ‘Starbucks Reorder Skill’ to help users reorder their usual orders. When using an Alexa device, customers will have to say, “Alexa, order my Starbucks” to activate place an order from the items listed in the ‘usual’ section.
Starbucks shared that in United States alone, 27 percent of its 13 million Starbucks Reward members use mobile devices to place and pay for their orders before arriving at its outlets. The introduction of ordering via voice commands and artificial intelligence should help boost the number of mobile users.
A majority of iOS customers will have to wait till summer 2017 for the public release this feature to conveniently place their orders and pay for them using their voice. Android users will have to wait till the end of the year to get their hands on the service.
With iOS 10, Siri got smarter by allowing third party actions through SirKit API for developers. It wouldn’t be surprising if Apple adds new functionality in the future to allow third party apps to take orders via Siri.