According to an announcement from Amazon on Thursday, the company claimed that they intended to make the hardware in their Amazon Echo connected speakers for the third-party manufacturers. The company also stateed that Amazon Alexa 7-Mic Far-Field Development Kit would enable the Alexa home assistant in their own products. The Echo is a smart speaker that connects to Alexa- an Amazon’s virtual personal assistant service. The speaker is activated by voice and listens the word “Alexa” to wake up.
The software behind Alexa through Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service (AVS) kit has now been available to developers. The Alexa technology has been used on many Amazon’s products and has recently been integrated into the Amazon app for iOS platform, which means that users can now make orders just by speaking to their device. The introduction of the hardware kit helps device manufacturers be able to design “always-listening” gadgets like the Echo Dot and Amazon Echo. The new technology will comprises the similar 7-microphone array, accompanying with other features such as noise cancellation and word recognition to wake up, beamforming, and echo cancellation. Although almost of industrial watchers were skeptical when the first Internet-enabled speaker of Amazon goes on sale in the United States, Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot connecting to the voice-activated, Alexa, are currently very popular in their segment after two years.
However, the Amazon Alexa 7-Mic Far-Field Development Kit is now only available via an invite program for commercial manufacturers. If OEMs want to know further, they can visit Amazon’s Developer pages to ask for an invite in a limited time. Before Amazon announced their latest hardware kit, other rumors previously said that Apple is currently experimenting a similar device to compete with the rival Amazon’s Echo, called the “Siri-speaker,” which may come with the facial recognition ability. It’s believed that Amazon is offering the hardware through invites so that the company can select the appropriate partners to works with and ensure that Alexa’s best features are improved on all compatible products.