Amazon's Alexa smart assistant is about to appear on far more devices, thanks to the retail giant opening up a software development kit previously reserved for a select few partners.
The Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit is a way for developers to bring Alexa control to devices like headphones and smartwatches, without first needing to build an app or Alexa skill.
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This means consumers can interact directly with the Alexa app installed on their iOS or Android smartphone, right from their headphones, wearable, or any other Bluetooth device.
The kit was first launched by Amazon back in January, but only made available to select partners like headphone makers Bose and Jabra. Now, in a blog post published this week, Amazon says any developer can access the kit, bringing Alexa interactions to their Bluetooth devices.
Alexa is best known for appearing on Amazon's Echo smart speakers, but this move now means the assistant is readily available to consumers who are outside the home. Instead of reaching for their smartphone, unlocking it, opening the Alexa app and speaking to the assistant, consumers can speak to the Alexa app through the microphone of their headphones or smartwatch.
Alfred Woo, the principal product manager for Alexa Voice Services, said: "Alexa got her start through integrations with speakers, appliances, TVs, and other smart devices. We also want to make Alexa available to customers who are on the move, so we're making it easier for device makers to build Alexa into the devices made for on-the-go experiences."
To help developers get started on the new software kit, Qualcomm is selling a pair of $299 reference headphones which can be used to test out Alexa's new Bluetooth functionality learn how it works.
With this software now available to all developers, we expect to see a huge number of Alexa-ready Bluetooth devices at the CES technology show, which kicks off in Las Vegas on January 8.
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