Recently, as Amazon proudly stated, its voice-activated virtual assistant Alexa won 2016's holiday with record sales for the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. Ushering in the new year, Alexa continued to dominate CES 2017 with its ever-expanding presence on even more appliances and gadgets from different manufacturers.
Aside from Alexa, virtual assistant competitors from Google, Microsoft and LG are priming to take a bit of the emerging voice-control gadget market share.
Judging by this explosion, 2017 may be the year of the voice-controlled virtual assistant. Now, even software makers are starting to jump on this bandwagon.
Adobe, the maker of Photoshop, showed off its voice-controlled "Interactive Agent for Editing" in a YouTube video posted below.
The company calls it a "first step" toward voice-controlled edits in its creative software suites similar to the virtual assistants like Alexa or Google Home.
In the video, a man is shown activating voice control on what appears to be an iPad photo editing app. He then asks the app to reframe, crop and flip the image using only his voice while the Alexa-like voice assistant replies back to his commands. He even issues an undo and a "share to Facebook" command and the assistant dutifully obliges.
Adobe said that their research team is exploring the idea of this "Interactive Agent" and the involvement of voice commands and a virtual assistant could give users "an easy and engaging way" to do edits on a mobile gadget. For one thing, it is certainly a fun and convenient way to perform quick editing commands, especially on a tablet.
Desktop users may be disappointed, though, considering there is no word that this feature will make its way to Adobe's desktop apps. Voice controls for complicated edits may be clunky anyway and it's probably more suited for simple edits.
Since the project is still in its early prototype stage, Adobe hasn't announced a timetable for this voice-controlled assistant yet. Based on the company's recently announced plans to expand AI and machine learning to its software, it may be ready sometime in 2017.