It looks like Amazon had bigger plans for Alexa than we thought. The digital voice assistant — which is the star of the show for the Amazon Echo that recently went up for pre-sale — is becoming an open platform which developers can use to add voice assistant features to their products.
They’ll do so through the use of the Alexa Skill Kit and the Alexa Voice Service, a collection of APIs and services that’ll allow you to implement Alexa in your products with ease. The Skill Kit is what will allow developers to support Alexa as if their app is one of Amazon’s own, while the Voice Service is what device makers use to implement Alexa in internet-connected hardware.
To kick things off and spur development, Amazon is also putting up a cool $100 million — called the Alexa Fund — to promote development of Alexa apps, devices and give startups the tools they need to be successful with it.
Amazon’s hope is that the end-result will be a wide range of Alexa-capable products that can make your smart home smarter than it already is, and without the need to buy their homegrown unit to do it.
Exciting times ahead indeed, and we can’t wait to see what comes of it. You can take a look at our Amazon Echo review to learn more about Alexa and how it can help you stay on task and up to date on everything in life.