This week Amazon introduced the Echo Show, an Echo device that adds a screen and video-calling to Alexa. It also looks a lot like the Nucleus intercom system, which was launched less than a year ago, and counted the Alexa Voice Fund as an investor.
Jonathan Frankel, the CEO of Nucleus, said when it launched on Tuesday, “Hey that looks like a product I know and love!” However, he insists that he’s not mad because he understands why Amazon made a calculated business decision to add features that competed with his.
“Why would they show the marketplace that they can’t be trusted as a partner?” he asks. His answer is that the opportunity was simply too great. “[Amazon] grasped what we have grasped, which is using communications is the path to get normal, everyday people to put devices throughout their homes, and then to connect their homes to other peoples’ homes. So Amazon has this once-in-a-generation opportunity to literally get their shopping cart into every room in millions of homes.”
For Frankel, the real question is what the telcos, retailers and other tech giants decide to do. While he’s clearly threatened, he points out that so are the Googles, Targets, Wal-Marts, and Comcasts of the world that now have seen Amazon potentially sever their relationship with the customer. To hear more on how that happens and how Nucleus plans to respond, download this week’s podcast. (iTunes, Android)
You’ll also hear Kevin Tofel and I explaining how to call people using your Echo, some Industrial Internet stats and a deep dive into the economics of serverless computing that explains why it’s the hottest IoT architecture around.