On Thursday, Amazon announced its new Alexa Voice Service (AVS) Device SDK that could make it easier for third party manufacturers to build Alexa-enabled products and get them to market faster, according to an Amazon blog post.
The new AVS Device SDK will offer C++-based libraries that can be used for the processing of audio inputs and triggers on your device, the post said. Those libraries also help "establish persistent connections with AVS, and handle all Alexa interactions," the post noted. Additional features in the AVS API handle speech synthesis, speech recognition, streaming music, and many other Alexa capabilities.
Amazon worked with more than 50 device manufacturers to test out the program while it was in private beta. Companies such as Technicolor and Berlin startup Senic used the SDK to integrate Alexa into their products.
"By providing the proven client software, the SDK makes our development time much faster and saved [our] team a lot of development time," Tobias Eichenwald, CEO and co-founder of Senic, said in the post.
Amazon Alexa director Priya Abani said that the SDK will help device makers integrate Alexa, but it will also give customers new options on where they can access the digital assistant.
Alexa's clearest value differentiator is its ecosystem, with its total number of skills passing 15,000 and growing quickly. Additionally, the firm recently boosted its monetization efforts for developers, giving them better incentive to build on the Alexa platform.
By focusing on its ecosystem of integrations, and supporting developers and business looking to use Alexa, Amazon can stay far ahead of its competitors Google and Microsoft in the digital assistant market.
The SDK is now generally available, and interested developers can find more information on how to get started here.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Amazon's new AVS Device SDK could make it easier for commercial device makers to integrate Alexa into their products.
- The SDK comes with C++-based libraries that help developers readily integrate processing for voice input and manage other Alexa capabilities.
- By investing in developers and businesses to grow its skills ecosystem, Amazon is working to remain competitive against Google and Microsoft.
- How to become an Alexa developer: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
- Amazon expands monetization program for Alexa developers (ZDNet)
- Amazon Alexa developers get new metrics to track skill usage and an API for location data (TechRepublic)
- Amazon makes it cheaper to host Alexa skills on AWS (ZDNet)
- Developers can now build Amazon Alexa skills for free on AWS (TechRepublic)