Alexa learned a new skill this week, and it’s one Starbucks frequenters are going to be using a lot — especially if you have a usual. But, Alexa ordering you the usual is nothing compared to what Starbucks has planned for later in the year — a powerful voice assistant that can understand any order coming to iOS and, eventually, Android.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As of yesterday, the Starbucks Reorder Skill is available to all Alexa users. It’s not all that powerful, but if you get the same thing every time, it’s all you need — simply enter your usual order and store, then say, “Alexa, tell Starbucks to start my order.” The magic happens, and minutes later you can pick up your order. There are a couple conveniences on top of that — the skill can store the last 10 Starbucks locations you’ve visited for easy switching, and you can check the balance on your Starbucks card.
But, it’s the lucky iOS beta testers who will really get a treat. Starbucks is planning to add voice recognition to their app, and from the looks of it, it’ll be no joke. You can check out the (almost too impressive to be believable) demo video here, but the idea is that My Starbucks Barista can recognize any order, no matter how specific or convoluted. The assistant will understand everything you want, make a list, and verify with you that your order is correct before passing it along to your usual Starbucks.
At the start, only 1,000 customers and iOS users will get beta invites to use My Starbucks Barista. Starbucks plans to roll the app out to everyone starting in the summer, with an Android version coming later in the year.