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목소리로 커피를 주문한다?
알렉사(ALEXA)

인공지능/과학기술의 발달로 커피업계에도 다양한 도전이 이뤄지고 있다는 점을 소개해드렸는데요. 얼마전 샌프란시스코에서 오픈한 로봇바리스타가 운영하는 ‘카페 X’가 그중 하나입니다.

(지난기사 보기 : 로봇 바리스타, 인간의 영역으로 들어서다 )

‘로봇 바리스타’처럼 우리가 일상에서 만나기 어려운 최첨단 기기들이 아닐지라도,  일상생활을 도와주는 과학기술의 발달은 정말 눈부십니다. 다양한 신제품이 선보였던 CES 2017에서도 많은 관람객의 눈길을 끈 아마존(Amazon)의 인공지능 서비스인 알렉사(Alexa)서비스는 아마존 echo 스피커를 이용, 사용자의 질문에 대한 대답뿐만 아니라, 정해진 온라인 몰에서 물건을 주문하는 등 편리한 기능을 선보였습니다. 알렉사 서비스에 참여 중인 7천여개 기업 중 하나인 美 포드(Ford)는 자사의 자동차 시스템에 알렉사를 도입함으로써, 운전자가 차에서 내리지않고 아마존 쇼핑에 접속해 물건을 구매할 수 있는 기능을 도입할 것이라고 밝혔습니다.

amazon_alexa

스타벅스도 이러한 알렉사 서비스 기업 중 하나인데요.  아마존 에코 스피커를 가지고있는 미국의 커피애호가라면 스타벅스에 가지 않고도 스피커를 통해 음성주문할 수 있다고 합니다. 다만 음료메뉴를 선택하는 기능은 아직 부여되지 않아, 드라마 속 한 장면처럼 “알렉사, 평소 마시던 것으로 주문해줘(Alexa, tell Starbucks to start my order)”라고 이야기하고, 미리 선택된 10개 매장 중 한 곳에서 픽업할 수 있다고 합니다. 이밖에도 스타벅스 선불카드의 충전 잔액을 확인하는 기능도 있고요.

아마존에 이용후기를 남긴 Chris Pfeifer는 “음료를 주문하고 기다리는 15~20분을 절약할 수 있어서 좋았다”고 말했습니다. 다만 다양한 음료를 주문할 수 없어 불편하고, 접속장애가 생기는 등 아직 개선할 점이 많다는의견들로 이용자 전체 평점은 2.89점으로 낮은 편입니다.

그럼 알렉사 스피커가 없는 사람은 어떻게 하냐고요? 아마존의 알렉사나 애플의 시리(siri)서비스 없이도 스타벅스 앱에서도 음성으로 주문이 가능합니다. 알렉사와 비슷하게 앱을 켠 상태에서 메뉴를 이야기하면 주문-결재가 가능한 시스템입니다. 몇몇 실패한 스타벅스의 서비스처럼 이용율이 떨어지거나 문제가 생긴다면 사라질수도 있겠지만, 아직까지는 시장에서 긍정적으로 받아들여지는 것으로 보입니다.

스타벅스음성주문

스타벅스가 알렉사 서비스 뿐만 아니라 자사 앱에도 음성주문 시스템을 도입한 점에서 ‘모든 회사는 본질적으로 다른 기업들과 차별화되는 기술을 가져야 한다’는 말이 다시금 생각나는데요. 알렉사에만 의존해할 경우, 다른 커피기업과 동일한 서비스밖에는 제공할 수 없기때문에 차별화될 수 있는 부분이 줄어들기 때문이죠. 그 동안 스타벅스가 가장 먼저 시작한 서비스(모바일오더&페이) 중 많은 수가 업계에서 표준화된 경우도 많으니까요. 기술이 아무리 발전하더라도 혁신과 도전을 결정하고 노력하는 것은 결국 인간의 몫인가 봅니다.

*기사/이미지 출처 : You can now get Amazon’s Alexa to order your usual drink at Starbucks,

                                      What Other Companies Can Learn From Starbucks’ New Voice-Ordering Apps

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