Amazon and Disney announced a new voice assistant called Hey Disney at CES 2023. The voice assistant will give users access to a wide range of Disney entertainment options through Echo devices at home and as a free service at select Disney Resort hotels.
To develop this experience, Disney used Alexa Unique Assistant, a speech-based artificial intelligence framework that allows to quickly build their own voice assistant that coexists with Alexa. The Hey Disney service will be available for sale in the US soon and will be included in an Amazon Kids + subscription.
Hey Disney is the voice of a new voice assistant called “Disney’s Magical Companion,” based on Alexa Custom Assistant. The service will be available in selected Disney Resort hotels, where it will coexist with Alexa.
Hey Disney can provide parking information in these hotels or turn the MagicBand+ into a game show-style buzzer with light and vibration effects. Hey Disney will also be available in US homes, where it can be activated by saying “Hey Disney” to an Echo speaker. When activated, Hey Disney will provide access to over 20 Disney, Pixar, or Star Wars characters, who can tell jokes, play quizzes, give the weather forecast, or play background sounds from films.
Hey Disney will also focus on storytelling, with the company’s team working on an introduction to the service that will provide hints on how to best access various functions. Hey Disney is designed to allow users to continue a storyline with a character when they return home from a vacation or return to their hotel room at the end of the day.
The first, Hey Disney devices, have already been installed in some rooms of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and will be available in the Alexa Skills Store in the US. It is currently unclear if Hey Disney will be available in other countries.
In addition to providing entertainment and storytelling options, Hey Disney is also designed to help users make the most of their vacations by providing helpful information and assistance. For example, Hey Disney can provide information about park hours, dining options, and attraction wait times. It can also help users make reservations for dining or activities and provide directions to various locations within the resort.
Hey Disney is just one of the many voice assistants currently available on the market, but it offers a unique combination of entertainment and practicality. By leveraging the popularity of Disney characters and storylines, Hey Disney is likely to appeal to a wide range of users, including children and adults.
It remains to be seen whether Hey Disney will be successful in the US and whether it will be expanded to other countries. Still, it is certainly an interesting development in the world of voice assistants.