Amazon is seeking to get its Alexa virtual assistant into more third party devices with the announcement that it has now opened up the SDK for its Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit.
The development platform was first announced near the start of the year, when it was available for select headphone devices from Bose, Jabra, and Sony. That allowed those companies to integrate into their devices a voice interface based on Alexa, which can respond to sophisticated voice queries and commands.
Now, by opening the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit to developers more generally, Amazon is allowing pretty much any device maker to implement an Alexa interface in their devices, connecting them via Bluetooth to the Amazon Alexa App on a paired mobile device. Since developers no longer have to build a custom app using the Alexa Voice Service or to create a new “skill” for Alexa, the move could result in Alexa functionality being supported on many more devices – not just headsets but smartwatches, smart speakers, and more.
The move can be seen as a response to the growing primacy of AI-driven voice interaction as a user interface, with Amazon’s rivals having noticed a shift in consumer preferences as well. Amazon appears to be seeking to extend its strong position in this area by bringing Alexa to more devices, not only with this latest move but also with its announcement of the Alexa Auto SDK for connected cars this summer and the Alexa for Business development platform announced at the end of last year, and opened to third party developers last month.