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To start, 1,000 beta iOS app users and Amazon Echo owners can now use their voice to order items from Starbucks. The feature, part of the “My Starbucks barista” section of the app, allows you to either dictate your order, or tap it out like a text message. The function will roll out more widely by summer, and an Android version will be available later this year.
If you’d rather just speak out to the void in your home rather than whip out your phone, and you’re an Amazon Echo owner, you will be able to re-order past Starbucks purchases using Alexa, too.
In addition to voice-based ordering, Starbucks has been a relatively early adopter of a number of other technologies. It was one of the first major retail chains to adopt mobile payments, including Apple Pay. For a few years, it also used Square to handle payments. And in 2014, it began adding wireless charging mats to store locations to ensure your phone was juiced up after paying for your coffee, too.
Mobile makes up 27 percent of Starbucks’ total transactions, with 7 percent of those purchases coming from its mobile app. It’ll be interesting to see how those numbers shift in the future—how many coffee addicts will start making their order via Alexa before they head out the door each morning?
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.