The Amazon Echo’s sales–and smarts–are exploding

Since launching the Echo in late 2014, Amazon has sold over 4 million of its voice-controlled smart speakers, according to data in Mary Meeker’s latest report on Internet trends. In that time, Alexa, the artificial personality powering the Echo, has only gotten smarter. As of last month, Alexa boasted 950 “skills”–functions and bits of intelligence powered largely by third party integrations. By comparison, Alexa had a mere 14 skills last September. 

Amazon’s move to build a voice-controlled virtual assistant for the home was apparently a wise one: That’s the place where more voice control users (43%) talk to their gadgets than any other location (the car was a close second, at 36%), according to Meeker’s report

The Echo still has plenty of growing to do. Despite the fact that 61% of Amazon customers say they’re aware of the device, only 5% of them own one. Compare that to the 56% of Amazon customers who own a Kindle or Kindle Fire. 

Still, not a bad start, Alexa.