Interacting with technology using voice is a feature customers are coming to expect more and more as standard. Amazon is seeking to make this easier by making the technology behind Alexa, their intelligent personal assistant, available for integration through the Alexa Voice Service (AVS).
Bring voice interaction to your products with Alexa Voice Service from Amazon
The AVS framework is designed to be like Amazon Web Services (AWS): powerful, cost-efficient and easy to set up and integrate with.
For your connected products, the service is an effective way to enable your customers to interact more naturally through the familiar experience of talking to Alexa. You provide the hardware (microphone, speakers) and audio software, and through an internet connection, the service does the rest.
Key features of the Alexa Voice Service:
Simple APIsThe same seamless integration that you expect from AWS can be achieved with the service's free APIs to offer functionality like controlling audio playback, setting the volume and text-to-speech. The service uses the market leading automatic speech recognition and natural language understanding of the technology.
Creating Custom FunctionalityThe service has been available since 2015 and thousands of custom features built on top of it have already been added by the developer community.
All this is possible through the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) which lets you create content and customer experiences on top of the technology. The service supports both touch (e.g.smartphone apps) and voice initiated approaches.
Cloud-Based IntelligenceWith this technology you are integrating with a framework that is being constantly improved through machine learning. You focus on your product and the service provides the voice-based technology. All you need to do is make sure the AVS client in your product is kept up-to-date.
International LocalisationThe service features language services for American English, British English and German, with more languages coming. The language models and regional services all reside in the cloud so the heavy lifting isn't done on the client side.
Stream Music, Radio And MoreUsing this technology in your products lets customers use voice control to stream music from Amazon Music and stream radio through SiriusFM and iHeartRadio. The service can fetch information from the internet such as weather reports and information from Wikipedia.
Integrating With The Smart HomeBuild your own IoT-enabled home devices that can be controlled by voice by integrating with the service. Control lights, thermostats and more through the Smart Home Skill API, just one of the APIs in the ASK.
If you are interested in integrating the Alexa Voice Service into your products, Amazon make available a design guide to help you choose the best Profile to implement it. As the already significant Amazon ecosystem grows, more and more of that will be available to customers with integrated devices.
Image source: https://www.amazon.com/