The high performance, 7-mic, far-field microphone array and voice processing technology found in the Echo is now available to hardware makers who are looking to incorporate Alexa in their own products. With this move, the Seattle-based tech giant aims to reduce development time and cost for commercial developers weaving Alexa functionality into their hardware.
Amazon already allows hardware makers to integrate Alexa into their devices, which was abundantly clear at CES 2017. The difference now is that the company will allow third-party device makers access to the actual technology that makes the Echo the Echo.
“Since the introduction of Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, device makers have been asking us to provide the technology and tools to enable a far-field Alexa experience for their products,” said Priya Abani, director at Amazon Alexa in a statement.
The demand for Alexa technology makes sense considering the popularity of the digital assistant. Just last December Amazon unveiled Alexa for the Enterprise, and earlier this spring began allowing developers to build and host Alexa skills using Amazon Web Services for free. Perhaps the best example of this is SAS, with its use of Alexa in the SAS Viya platform.
This new developer kit includes:
- The same 7-microphone array found in the Echo
- Amazon’s proprietary software for wake word recognition, beamforming, noise reduction, and echo cancellation
- Reference client software for local device control and communication with the Alexa Voice Service
The Amazon Alexa 7-Mic Far-Field Development Kit is now available to commercial device manufacturers through Amazon’s invite-only program. For those interested, you can learn more and request an invite here.