Amazon is teaming up with semiconductor and voice solutions provider Conexant to bring Alexa to even more devices, the companies announced Thursday.
The companies plan to expand the market of voice enabled digital assistants powered by Amazon’s Alexa with the creation of the AudioSmart™ 2-mic Development Kit for smart home appliances. The kit is designed to connect to a Raspberry Pi, a small, credit-card sized computer which can be used in electronics projects.
This will allow third-party manufacturers and developers to create Alexa-enabled devices to enable virtual assistance in products.
The solution can be used to enable voice commands in home devices, such as smart speakers, thermostats, smart light bulbs and smart TVs, Conexant says.
Amazon will expand Alexa to products that are not manufactured by them, something that Conexant President Saleel Awsare calls a “paradigm shift.”
“It’s really a game changer,” Awsare told the IBTimes about Amazon opening up its Alexa cloud to other manufacturers. “A lot more devices are coming.”
Some companies have already lined up for the kit and announcements on products will start as soon as January.
“Our goal is to make it incredibly simple for device makers to integrate Alexa into their products,” Priya Abani, director of Alexa Voice Service at Amazon, said in a statement to the IBTimes. “By working with companies like Conexant, we are able to create hands free voice solutions that allow developers to quickly innovate with Alexa.”
The kit will cut the time needed for developers when prototyping and engineering new digital assistant devices, from several months to only a few weeks or less.
“By using this reference solution from Conexant, manufacturers can easily integrate Alexa into their products and create working prototypes of their devices in just weeks,” said Abani.
Conexant says the kit will also reduce costs that come with developing “noise robust voice-enabled devices.”
The core element of the kit is Conexant’s AudioSmart CX20921 Voice Input Processor. The dual-microphone voice processing solution is designed to recognize the Alexa wake word and deliver speech requests for processing from anywhere in the room--even in noisy places--by separating voice commands from music. The solution also enables voice barge-in capabilities, which allows users to interrupt their device when it’s playing sound.