Alexa voice assistant from Amazon is expected to be made available to Bluetooth headphones, smartwatches and other devices after the company unveiled its Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit for developers. The software development kit was first teased back in January by Amazon which was designed to bring Alexa to Bluetooth headsets and wearables. “The kit enables OEMs to add Alexa to their devices with minimum investment in hardware or integration efforts,” said Amazon. Before, toolkits depended on Wi-Fi to connect with Alexa Voice Services and not Bluetooth.
The SDK (Software Development Kit) makes the process seamless and easy as it is designed to handle most of the coding while integrating Alexa to other devices. Since its inception, the development kit supported wireless Bluetooth headphones from Sony, Bose, iHome and Jabra, but now, it adds support to smartwatches, other headsets and portable Bluetooth speakers.
To enjoy the feature, you would simply need to pair an Alexa-enabled product to your phone and follow the instructions to complete the process. Also, by letting developers add Alexa to devices, the company is hoping to halt the developments of Apple and Google. While Apple has Siri on its Apple Watch, Google’s Google Assistant APK is available to OEMs. If you are a developer, you can use Qualcomm’s reference design prototype to begin testing the Mobile Accessory Kit. However, you might have to wait longer to see products shipping with Alexa support, but with CES 2019 around the corner, we expect more concrete details coming in.
While a specific launch date was not revealed, the company announced that device makers who are willing to pair their Bluetooth audio devices with Alexa voice assistant could do so using the new toolkit later this year.
The Mobile Accessory Kit was one of the two development tool announcements made. Another important update was made to Amazon Alexa Premium Voice Development Kit which is targeted towards commercial device makers. Using the kit, device makers can enable high-quality, far-field voice experiences in their products. The kit comes with support for 7-mic circular or 8-mic rectangular array boards for different types of devices.