Your new work colleague could soon be Amazon's digital assistant Alexa

Werner Vogels Amazon CTO unveils Alexa for Business at AWS re:Invent 2017

Werner Vogels Amazon CTO unveils Alexa for Business at AWS re:Invent 2017

What has always been dominated by screens of all shapes and sizes is now being encroached upon by the voice.

While Amazon has been busy announcing new cloud services for developers this week at its annual re:Invent conference, the company is preparing to talk about new tools that will make it easier for people to use Amazon's Alexa voice-activated virtual assistant in the workplace, four sources have told CNBC.

Today, Amazon and its partners updated multiple apps in the United States, including Bravo, Hulu, and NBC, so that users can control playback with voice commands.

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One source also said that it would launch a new marketplace just for business apps, similar to the Skills page it now has for consumer-focused apps. These sessions include "Bring your Alexa to work".

Alexa for Business will all come with all the same capabilities as a regular Echo, letting users get information about news, weather, set timers and alarms, and ask questions.

Alexa for Business is a two-sided project for Amazon. The WSJ expects businesses to use this platform to control everything from changing the temperature and turning on the lights, to calendar management and meeting room scheduling. Employees could even carry out these tasks when out of the office using the Alexa app on their smartphone.

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But the first challenge is getting large companies to invest in a huge quantity of Echo devices.

Security features are also likely to be part of the puzzle, as you'd imagine in a business setting, and that could tie in with Alexa's recently granted ability to recognize individual voices.

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