Amazon’s answer to Apple’s popular Siri digital assistant is Alexa, a cloud-based virtual assistant that brings smart technology into the comfort of your home. It allows users to check news, weather, information and calendars. It also keeps users up to date on things like sports and traffic. Amazon wants to expand that experience by opening up the Alexa software to third-party developers.
Amazon to expand virtual assistant software Alexa
The Verge reports that developers can now access Amazon Voice Service (AVS) to help them build Alexa on their devices. They also have the option to use the Alexa Skills Kit, which is a collection of handy tools and APIs to help developers create more features for Echo and other future devices. The online retail giant already started a fund with $100 million worth of investments for supporting those working with Alexa.
Amazon’s expansion announcement comes days after the company announced that Echo would be available to everyone. The company’s chief executive officer, Jeff Bezos, elaborated:
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“Experiences designed around the human voice will fundamentally improve the way people use technology. Since introducing Amazon Echo, we’ve heard from developers, manufacturers, and start-ups of all sizes who want to innovate with this new technology. With the Alexa Fund, we want to empower people to explore the boundaries of voice technology.”
Amazon wants to improve IoT
Amazon strives to be the center of smart home technology with Echo. The company also invested in a total of seven startups to work with the Alexa system. Notable startups include Mojio, a connected automotive feature which asks drivers how much fuel they need before the next trip. Another notable startup is Scout Alarm, which gives homeowners the power to turn on or off home security systems with a simple voice command.
Amazon wants to boost technologies and be a part of the changing technology involving the Internet of Things.