The number of devices that support Inc.’s (AMZN) Alexa just keeps getting bigger. 

The Seattle company today announced integration of its popular smart assistant into Toronto-based smart assistant company Ecobee’s smart thermostat and smart lights. This is the second thermostat that can be controlled with Alexa after its integration with Alphabet Inc.-owned Nest thermostats. According to Stuart Lombard, Ecobee CEO, the integration had been in the works for two years and has received an enthusiastic response from the company’s customers. (See also: Alexa, Who Won CES This Year?)

Since its introduction two years ago, the Alexa smart assistant, which is integrated into Amazon’s Echo device, has become a surprise hit with consumers. Amazon is estimated to have sold 8.2 million Alexa devices to customers. 


In recent times, the company has integrated Alexa across home devices, such as the General Electric Company’s (GE) lamps, as well as automobiles manufactured by Ford Motor Company (F) and Volkswagen. It has also open sourced the hardware and software platforms for Alexa, making it possible for hardware manufacturers as well as software developers to make use of its artificial intelligence technology for their products. (See also: Amazon Releases Alexa Development Kit). 

In a bid to find further use cases for the device, Amazon has also funded research fellowships at four universities. (See also: Amazon Funds Fellowships To Boost Alexa's Skills). 

Research firm Gartner has estimated that the market for smart home assistant will top $2.1 billion worldwide by 2020, up from $360 million in 2015. The field has attracted technology behemoths like Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Google (GOOG) and Microsoft Inc. (MSFT). However, Alexa has a head start over rivals and Amazon is counting on the smart assistant to boost its bottom line in the future. “We do think Alexa will become a significant business,” said Steve Rabuchin, vice president of Alexa voice skills and search, at the Collision tech conference in New Orleans today, adding that Amazon is in initial talks with “lots of companies” to integrate the smart assistant into their consumer devices. 

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