Amazon unveils Alexa development kit for mobile accessories
Amazon on Friday unveiled the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit, an effort to deploy the smart assistant in devices such as headphones, smart watches and fitness devices, according to a post at Amazon’s Alexa developers blog.
The kit allows OEM development teams a quicker and less expensive path to integrating Alexa because they will no longer need to perform the bulk of the coding for their Alexa integration, Amazon said.
The kit, available later this year, is an alternative to the previously introduced AVS Device SDK. It's designed specifically for manufacturers who need "a lightweight method to build on-the-go products that access Alexa by pairing via Bluetooth to the Amazon Alexa App," the blog post stated.
Amazon has made no secret of the notion that it wants to see Alexa integrated into more devices. Mobile smartphones have been one of the targets, as was shown by a partnership announced in early 2017 between the e-commerce giant and Motorola.
In the months since, we haven’t heard a whole lot more about this particular aspect of Amazon’s Alexa expansion plans. August brought the launch of the AVS Device SDK, which is designed for Wi-Fi-connected devices looking to leverage Alexa. But this new kit extends the ability to access Alexa to mobile accessories and wearables that primarily use Bluetooth connections.
Amazon suggested that being able to make that connection will enable a whole new category of hands-free, voice-activated devices. Several OEMs have already bought this into vision: Bose, Jabra, iHome, Beyerdynamic, Bowers and Wilkins, as well as AVS Solution Providers Linkplay, SUGR, and Libre Wireless are working on such accessories to become available later this year, the blog post stated.
This is just the latest chapter in Amazon’s efforts to extend Alexa into as much of our everyday lives as possible. We recently were reminded how far Amazon is willing to go to do that: Last week the company unveiled plans to bring Alexa to microwave ovens and other cooking appliances. Comparatively, bringing Alexa to mobile accessories seems like a much more natural move. The goal in any case is that regardless of where you are and what you are doing, even if you are on the move, you will never be without Alexa — or Amazon.