Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) adds new capabilities to Alexa Voice Services
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s Alexa Voice Services (AVS) has some new improvements. AVS enables third-party developers to to add Alexa voice support to services and devices. Some of the features that have been added to AVS with the latest update include the ability to set alarms/timers, adjust volume and control playback with voice commands.
AVS was one of the Alexa-themed tools Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) rolled out last year for third-party developers to integrate the virtual voice assistant into their devices. The original AVS support the ability to request weather forecast, get local news updates, get traffic news, query Wikipedia and play music.
These capabilities have been retained in the updated version of the tool with new capabilities being included.
Some of the early AVS partners included Scout, which is a maker of intelligent home security systems. The other one was Y Combinator grad Toymail, whose work includes building smart toys for kids.
The updates that Amazon has made on AVS mean that the tool could be deployed widely by third-party developers. Additionally, the updates also seem to further lift limits to using Alexa in rival products.
Amazon is hoping to take control of home automation hub market and it is leverage Alex to help it take that market. Its Echo speaker has seen widely positive reception. In addition to the core Echo device, Amazon recently rolled out mobile and a periphery version of Echo as part of the efforts to popularize the product among consumers.
However, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) understands that developer support is even more important. As such, tools such as AVS are designed to woo developers so that they can reimagine the technology and find ways to make consumers love it more.
Besides pushing out more and better Alexa-themed tools, Amazon is also funding startups working on Alexa related projects.
Will the competition react?
It will be interesting to see how Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Google respond to Amazon’s growing popularity among home automation developers. Apple’s version of home automation hub called HomeKit has tended to be a slow grinder.
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