Trading in a flashy stand for a subdued, but demo-rich footprint, Amazon and Intel parked their Smart Life Road Show Airstream trailer outside the Las Vegas Convention Center for CES (Jan. 9-12), showcasing the capabilities of Amazon Alexa (powered by Intel technology), Alexa-integrated products and partners, as well as advances in intelligent voice technology in the smart home. In other words: That Alexa does more than just answer questions, report news briefings and play music via the Echo devices. On the road for seven months, the tour kicked off last July at Amazon’s AWS Summit in Chicago and made stops at 36 industry events, Amazon Books retail locations, college campuses and partner headquarters.
The 30-foot-long branded airstream trailer featured Amazon Alexa and Intel logos as well as bumper stickers representing the different partners and products that integrate with Alexa, like Sonos, HP, Lenovo, HTC, Ford, Logitech and ecobee. Inside, a smart home showcase brought these uses to life in four settings—an office, kitchen, living room and general product display—with demonstrations of voice-enabled actions and scenes that served as a guide to creating a smart home with Amazon Alexa.
At CES (and on each stop of the tour) five to 10 guests were invited into the trailer at a time to experience the demos. Brand ambassadors helped demonstrate singular uses, like asking Alexa to turn on a Sonos One smart speaker or asking her to adjust a smart thermostat. Then the demonstrations turned to other features, like “routines,” which allows users to combine multiple, preset device actions into one command—like stating: “Alexa, Good Morning,” which initiates a sequence of device responses (shades going up, electric coffee maker kicking on, etc.), all brought to life in the trailer. The Ford F-150 pulling the trailer was part of the show, too. Brand ambassadors demonstrated how drivers and passengers can interact with Alexa through the vehicle’s computer, like using voice-control navigation or making song requests.
Over the course of the road show, Amazon constantly updated the products and demos to represent the latest features, products and partners. The brand also posted up-to-date information about the tour from the Smart Life Road Show microsite. And in Las Vegas at CES, which experienced headline-making rains on the first day, the trailer kept demos rolling—and dry. Agency: Allied Experiential, New York City.
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