Amazon is giving device makers an easier way to create new voice-controlled products like its own Echo speaker. With the Amazon Alexa 7-Mic Far-Field Development Kit, device makers can use the same circular microphone array and noise-processing algorithms from Echo, along with reference software, to help build new devices. (A less sophisticated two-microphone kit arrived late last year.)
It’s all part of Amazon’s plan to make Alexa ubiquitous. By letting device makers put its assistant in connected lamps, alarms, fridges, intercoms, phones, and car dashboards, Amazon’s services will never be more than a voice command away. And while other companies like Google and Microsoft are starting to pursue similar strategies, the new development kit helps give Amazon a bigger head start.