Amazon continues to work on a path that is almost directly opposite the one Google took with regards to AI powered assistant technologies. Unlike Google that took their mobile phone search app and started to build their ecosystem around that, Amazon started with their Amazon Echo smart speaker device and has slowly been expanding where and on what the Alexa software is capable of running on. Amazon has announced a major new step for their framework in 2018 with the release of a new Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit for developers to make it easier than ever for Alexa to be added to a wide range of hardware, especially devices that are mobile in nature.
The new Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit can be incorporated into devices like headphones, smart watches, fitness trackers and more. If a voice is Bluetooth audio-capable, by adding the kit, users will be able to connect to the Alexa Voice Service via the Amazon Alexa app on their mobile device. This will give them voice command capabilities just like what they get at home using their “fixed” Amazon devices.
Amazon points out that last year they released the AVS Device SDK, which gave manufacturers the ability to tap into Alexa. However, that required some relatively heavy coding on the part of manufacturers and developers. The new Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit does the same thing, but in a streamlined, lightweight fashion that should help push greater adoption by developers.
Amazon notes in their announcement that several manufacturers are already working on Alexa Mobile Accessories. Some of the names mentioned include Bose, Jabra, and Beyerdynamic.
The new toolset will be available for general developer use later this year.