Amazon to bring Alexa to smart watches, headphones and more

By : |January 8, 2018 0

Amazon is planning to bring Alexa to more devices other than FireTV and smart speakers. The company announced a new set of developer tools including one called the “Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit,” that would allow Alexa to work with Bluetooth products in the wearable space, like headphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, other audio devices, and more.

The first OEMs to include Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit in their wearable devices are Bose, Jabra, iHome, Beyerdynamic, Bowers, Wilkins, Linkplay, Sugr, and Libre Wireless. Brian Maguire, Director of Product Management at Bose said, “Bose is excited to add a remarkable new Alexa experience for our customers. Accessing Alexa’s music, information, and a vast number of skills on our headphones will become easier than ever, and we’re looking forward to bringing our collaboration to life.”

The Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit allows OEMs to plug Alexa into smart devices that connect over Bluetooth. These devices pair with the Alexa app on the phone to take advantage of Alexa Voice Service, so the accessory itself isn’t running Alexa. This is an alternative to the AVS Device SDK that Amazon released last year. That SDK required the accessories to run the Alexa Voice Service natively, but the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit is an easier, more lightweight solution.

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The new toolkit will help Amazon give tough competition to rivals like Google and Apple. Apple includes Siri on its Apple Watch, and Google just made a Google Assistant APK available to OEMs.

Amazon also announced an Alexa premium far-field voice development kit that helps OEMs build Alexa-enabled products with “premium far-field” performance. “The dev kit gives device manufacturers access to the same audio technology that powers the latest Amazon Echo family of devices, so they can bring high-quality voice experiences to their products,” Amazon said. It will be available later this year in limited supply.

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