Not that you need to be talked into drinking coffee, but ordering your morning cup of brew definitely just got easier. And a lot more futuristic.
As of Monday, you can now order your coffee by using your voice. That's right, Starbucks has introduced voice ordering on two different platforms: the iOS mobile app and Amazon's digital assistant Alexa, found in gadgets like the Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot. (Though we should point out that the voice ordering feature is rolling out slowly on the iPhone app, so you might not be able to do it for a while.)
Order with your iPhone
When using the Starbucks app, instead of selecting your order on the screen, you can simply tell the app what you want by speaking aloud. Even if your order requires extra attention—like a specific amount of vanilla pumps, almond milk instead of soy milk, or whipped cream related requests—it doesn't matter. The app can handle your needs.
Here is how it works:
First, let the barista know what you want by speaking your order.
The barista will confirm your order, including the cost, and it will let you know when your order will be ready and where to pick it up. It will even send you an image of what you ordered to make sure everyone's on the same page.
You can also order via Alexa
You can also place your Starbucks order on command by saying it out loud to Amazon's Alexa.
To start with, you need to enable the Starbucks "skill" in your Alexa's mobile app. If you've held off experimenting with skills until something as awesome as voice coffee ordering came along, you should just start the app, tap the menu and choose Skills. Then search for "Starbucks" and tap the Enable button.
After you've set up the skill, just say something like, "Alexa, order my Starbucks," and she'll have your back. Unfortunately, you won't be able to deviate from your usual order or add any additional items like banana bread or a cake pop (ugh!).
The future (of ordering coffee) is here
Gerri Martin-Flickinger, chief technology officer for Starbucks, explained the new voice ordering capability.
"The Starbucks experience is built on the personal connection between our barista and customer so everything we do in our digital ecosystem must reflect that sensibility," Martin-Flickinger said in a statement. "Our team is focused on making sure that Starbucks voice ordering within our app is truly personal and equally important was finding the right partner in Amazon to test and learn from this new capability. These initial releases are easy to use providing a direct benefit to customers within their daily routine and we are confident that this is the right next step in creating convenient moments to complement our more immersive formats. We expect to learn a lot from both of these experiences and to evolve them over time."
The iOS integration is currently in beta test mode and only available to 1,000 customers nationwide, but the plan is for the rest of the country to have access (including Android users) by summer.
Since the rollout of the My Starbucks barista app, many customers have noticed much longer lines than usual. The company plans to add more staff during rush hours to keep the lines down and the customers happy, so that hopefully won't be an issue anymore. That way you can order your coffee remotely from your app or through Alexa, and be drinking it minutes later. Just as it should be.