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Ordering coffee from Starbucks is now just an Alexa voice command away

Ordering coffee from Starbucks is now just an Alexa voice command away

Users of Barista could then place their usual order through the Amazon Echo or the Echo Dot, with payments being handled by the Starbucks app. But the vocal ordering process appeared seamless in the video presentation-and Starbucks promised that orders will be booked accurately.

Late a year ago, Starbucks previewed the voice ordering service at the company's investor day presentation.

Starbucks is putting its own spin on the virtual assistant. You'll be able to speak your order, and customize your food and drink to your personal preferences, according to Starbucks. That's right, Starbucks is rolling out a new voice assistant called "Barista" on its iOS app.

If they choose to, users can also opt to simply type their order to Starbucks, similar to chatbots that have become popular in apps like Facebook Messenger.

Unfortunately, the app won't be readily available to everyone and is now in beta testing on iOS, with plans to expand the service to Android later during the year.

The launches come at a time when voice computing is on the rise.

Starbucks is expanding its mobile ordering capabilities to include voice ordering within its iOS app and on Amazon's Alexa platform, which is primarily accessed through the Echo smart speaker. Customers are also getting more comfortable speaking to assistants on their mobile devices, like Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant, as a means of accessing information or performing tasks.

At its investor day, the company noted it has 8 million mobile paying customers, with 1 out of 3 using Mobile Order & Pay.

"The Starbucks experience is built on the personal connection between our barista and customer, so everything we do in our digital ecosystem must reflect that sensibility", said Gerri Martin-Flickinger, chief technology officer for Starbucks, in a news release this morning announcing the new voice technologies.

While the new feature is only available in a select few nations, Starbucks said that a broad roll-out of the voice ordering feature is planned to be pushed out throughout summer.

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