Amazon’s Alexa voice service is now open for third-parties to use in their products

Amazon’s Alexa voice service is now open for third-parties to use in their products

Amazon is making Alexa – the voice recognition technology powering its Echo home assistant – open to thirds party developers and manufacturers with a new set of software tools and $100 million in funding to support start-ups working on improving voice-guided technologies.

First up, the Alexa Skills Kit is a collection of APIs and tools aimed at making it easy for developers to add features to Alexa. Amazon says that with a few lines of code, developers  should be able to integrate Alexa into existing products – or create completely new experiences within a few hours.

You could, for example, add health data from a fitness tracking app, and then be able to ask Alexa how many miles you’ve run in a week. And if you’re a hobbyist, Amazon even provides the example of adding your kid’s lunch menu to Alexa’s profile, so you can decide whether to pack him a lunch

Amazon says developers will need no experience with speech recognition to use it either – it does all the heavy lifting in the cloud.

The Alexa Voice Service meanwhile is a tool for manufacturers to add Alexa onto their own hardware devices. That means you could add weather search to a connected alarm clock, for instance, or implement voice control on your home’s sound system.

As with the Skills Kit above, Amazon says it takes just a few lines of code to get it all running – all your device needs is a speaker, a microphone and an internet connection. The tool will go live for developers starting next month.

Finally, Amazon also launched the Alexa Fund, which will provide “up to $100 million” in funding to help developers, manufacturers and startups build new voice-driven technologies and applications.

Developers can sign up to try the Alexa Skills Kit preview at, while manufacturers can sign up to be notified when the Alexa Voice service will be available at The Alexa Fund is also launching today, which you apply for here.

Amazon Introduces the Alexa Skills Kit—A Free SDK for Developers [Amazon]

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