It's no coincidence that Amazon has made its Echo smart device available to all recently: today Amazon has made another significant announcement in the future of device voice control. Amazon is offering Alexa for integration into third-party devices.
Amazon Echo is powered by a voice service called Alexa. Based in the cloud, Alexa is a natural language engine that can interpret, learn, respond and control.
The Echo is a unique device, it listens, delivers audio content through the speaker, but it also integrates with other smarthome devices, like Belkin WeMo and Philips Hue, meaning it's a smart hub for your smarthome.
Amazon has announced that the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) is available to developers for integration into other internet-connected devices. Essentially, without having to develop a smart language platform of your own, you'll be able to add voice control to all sorts of devices.
Best of all, AVS is going to be free and, according to Amazon, you only need to add a few lines of code to have to working on your smart device.
That means, for example, you'll be able to talk to your clock, audio system or TV and have Alexa return sensible results. Anything with an online connection, speaker and mic can make use of the service.
Furthermore, Amazon has also announced the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), which gives you APIs and tools to create new skills for Alexa appropriate for the device they are being added to.
Amazon's examples include connected toys, voice controlled smart sprinkler systems, as well as full home automation, similar to that we've seen showcased by Apple's HomeKit.
Essentially, this means that developers will have the tools to integrate smart voice controls simply and quickly without having to develop it all for themselves. If you're after a voice controlled house, you're not going to be short of options.
The developer preview starts next month and you can find out more on the link below.