Amazon.com, Inc. has allowed third party developers to add Alexa’s voice control to their own devices, TechCrunch reported. For those of you who don’t know, Alexa is the AI that powers smart devices such as the Echo speaker and Fire TV. Previously, Amazon allowed developers to add the AI to their apps for seamless integration with the device.
The Alexa Voice Services (AVS) has been updated to include more features for developers to integrate with their devices, which can include but is not limited to alarm clocks, speakers or even voice controlled vending machines. Developers will be able to make Alexa set timers, adjust the volume and control media playback from their own respective devices.
As per Steve Wozniak’s latest Reddit AMA, developers are flocking to Alexa as it promises potential of an AI powered future. Amazon has updated the APKs for Alexa that allows developers to teach the AI digital assistant skills for different functions. The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) previously had support for playing music, weather and traffic updates along with Wikipedia integration for queries.
Amazon is heavily banking on AI future and Alexa is the key. The Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon is accelerating at a fast pace. While other companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon have their own digital assistants, they are locked into the smartphone world. As the smartphone market saturates, the focus is shifted towards the American households and the rest of the world. The latest Apple TV’s integration with Siri has already showed how the iPhone maker wants a presence in users’ living rooms. However, the scopes of Apple’s AI efforts seem limited compared to that of the e-commerce giant.
As per the company’s press room, Amazon has 244 million active shoppers on the website. Looking at this, Amazon could be running billions of product searches per day, while Google has over 1.65 billion searches each day. Both companies have specific algorithms powered by AI that track the behavior of millions of users on the internet. Amazon’s e-commerce presence has made it possible to track and assess how users around the world shop. While all of this is done on the internet, Alexa’s presence in households all around the world will help the company better understand consumers’ demands.
Amazon’s Dash replenishment buttons are a major aspect in the making of a smart household. All these internet connected devices will use the power of Alexa’s AI to power the future of smart shopping and living. Imagine a world where Alexa informs you that you’ve been hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock too much, and then communicates with the internet connected coffee maker.
Thanks to the new move by Amazon, the coffee maker will also have smart assistant integration, which makes for a consistent experience. Moreover, the AI powered assistant will also order coffee beans when supplies run low. The possibilities are endless and we’re seeing how the future might shape up to be.
The future of households is in the hands of Amazon and in a world with cut-throat retail competition, Amazon’s innovation speed would take contemporary companies such as Target, Wal-Mart and others around a decade to catch up.