If you didn’t have a reason to buy an Amazon Alexa before, you might now… maybe. Roland has announced that they are working on a modified version of Alexa for their new 88 key variant of the GO: PIANO, named ‘Alexa Skill’. The new feature allows you to make demands of your piano, through voice activation. Roland also plans to incorporate the technology into other products in their lineup.
Have you been a bit slow picking up the keys? Perhaps you need Alexa’s voice blaring corrections at you while you play? Enter ‘Alexa Skill’.
Roland says that Alexa Skill offers “intuitive new ways to interact with musical instruments”. This is probably true, as I’m not sure that anyone has ever spoken to their piano before, bar cursing at it in a fit of rage after messing up an arpeggio.
Functionally, Alexa Skill works like her unskilled cousins, with voice commands activating different functions, such as swapping sounds and switching settings, all the while keeping your hands free to play. “Alexa, volume up!”, “Alexa, Brass 34,” that kind of thing. No doubt it will add a bit of a flavour to your next piano recital.
Alexa can also act as your tutor, offering a library of tunes that she is willing to play along to you with. No word yet on her music taste. Apparently, Alexa also offers feedback as you go, in her lovably expressive voice, and unlike the piano teacher you had growing up, she has hours of patience.
There is also the option of sharing recorded audio with friends and family, so you can show them how you’ve almost but not quite nailed Für Elise. Roland states that they will continue to roll out new functions with Alexa skill, such as compatibility with other Roland instruments.
The Roland GO:88, is a new 88 key version of their GO: PIANO, and will be the first instrument in Roland’s line to be equipt with Alexa. However, Roland has plans to equip other instruments with the function, I’ve got my fingers crossed for an Alexa equipped Roland Keytar.
For more information, take a look at Roland’s product page.