Etisalat picks SoftAtHome for Alexa control

  • June 5, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

UAE households can control connected smart home devices with voice commands thanks to Amazon Alexa’s technology deployed by Orange subsidiary SoftAtHome.

French software company SoftAtHome, a specialist in broadband, video and analytics, was chosen by UAE telco Etisalat to deliver its smart eLife set-top box (STB) and backend software to enable Alexa voice control features in Arabic and English.

SoftAtHome delivered what it says is the world’s first STB support for Ring cameras by enabling video streaming between Ring cameras and Etisalat’s entertainment platform eLife TV.

The STBs include a smart speaker with a mic, an IoT chipset, and voice enabled Alexa feature in English and Arabic. Etisalat subscribers will benefit from a voice-controlled living room media and service hub that uses push-to-talk and far-field for connected home services directly from the sofa.

“It was great to integrate SoftAtHome with its expertise on Amazon Alexa being an added advantage in our new smart living home control service, delivering the promise of smart living and differentiating from other regional service providers,” said Khaled El Khouly, chief consumer officer at Etisalat. “Our customers can now easily use their voice to control all their connected devices at home. They can also use the application to manage their devices from anywhere outside their home with the smart living app, offering significant opportunities for improving their way of living.”

David Viret-Lange, CEO of SoftAtHome, added: “Voice assistants are our new daily life companions. We bring voice command expertise and have been an Amazon Alexa trusted provider since 2020. I am proud that Etisalat, our partner for many years, has relied on our expertise to deliver the end-to-end voice solution on its latest set-top boxes, enhancing the end-user video experience.”

Eisalat smart-living customers can now control connected smart home devices with Alexa voice commands, accessible and controllable through their eLife TV. They can operate various compatible actions by voice in front of their TV, such as switching channels, controlling volume, searching for content, controlling their smart home object, seeing who is at their front door if equipped with Amazon Ring compatible doorbells, playing music, reading the news, setting timers and alarms, and more.

With deployments of its WatchOn products in several markets, and now in the UAE, SoftAtHome has become an Amazon Alexa enabler in the service provider ecosystem for more immersive experiences. It delivers a complete service to Etisalat, including the backend infrastructure. Its cloud based VASP (virtual asset service provider) enables a connected home experience, including Alexa video skills.

SoftAtHome is a software provider with six options for broadband (ConnectOn), wifi (WifiOn), security (SecureOn), smart home (ThingsOn), video (WatchOn), and analytics and QoE monitoring (EyesOn). Telecom and broadcast operators deploy the company’s products in over 25 million home networks and millions of mobile devices. The company’s major shareholder is Orange, with Etisalat and Swisscom also having stakes. It has more than 300 employees, mainly software engineers committed to open-source communities such as Prpl or RDK.