Amazon has added a series of new developer tools to its Alexa SDK with the aim of making it easier to integrate the voice assistant with more consumer products.
Amazon has always seen the Echo range as a flagship product intended to lead the way, rather than a standalone product, with third-party manufacturers integrating it into their products.
The Alexa Voice Service Device Software Development Kit (SDK) is already being used by more than 50 companies and is even posted on GitHub.
In a blog post, the company explains: "The AVS Device SDK provides C++-based libraries that enable your device to process audio inputs and triggers, establish persistent connections with AVS, and handle all Alexa interactions.
"The SDK also includes the capability agents that leverage the AVS API to handle core Alexa functionality, including speech recognition and synthesis, and other capabilities such as streaming media, timers and alarms, notifications, weather reports, and thousands of custom skills."
There are tutorials and a prototype app for Raspberry Pi available so you can build proof-of-concept for how to incorporate the chatty cloud companion into your gadgets.
"We are excited to bring the AVS Device SDK to developers to make it easier to add voice to their products and get to market faster," said Priya Abani, director Amazon Alexa. "As we continue to open up new tools and resources to help commercial developers build more Alexa-enabled devices, we're offering customers more choice around where to access Alexa."
The company is betting that by making Alexa a cornerstone of people's lives, they will make money through other parts of the business - shopping, streaming, advertising and of course Amazon Web Services (AWS), which remains the only profitable arm of the business, according to recent figures.
Alexa is also leaps and bounds ahead of its nearest rival, Google Assistant, at present. But with Apple planning to up its Siri game along with the launch of the iPhone 8, we can expect to see these missing features like multi-account and multi room music added quite soon.
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