Amazon is offering its Alexa Voice Service, the same one that powers its the Echo, as a free developer preview, allowing device manufacturers and hobbyists integrate it with their own connected devices.
Integrating Alexa with a device will allow it to respond to voice queries the same way Amazon’s Echo does. ie. users will be able to ask questions, look up things like a recipe or get information on the traffic conditions.
On the Company’s “Getting Started With Alexa Voice Search” page, it mentions that for a user to be able to use Alexa voice search they are required to be logged into their Amazon account. The move ensures that regardless of who’s using it’s tech, Amazon gets the data.
Still, we can’t imagine an Alexa powered device other than the Amazon Echo making its way to the market anytime soon. Here’s a list of things one can do with Alexa voice search, and it’s pretty amazing:
- Ask their device all kinds of questions, like math problems or facts about famous people, dates and places
- Stay informed on the news with Flash Briefing, a customizable news feed that includes podcasts and headlines from sources like ABC News, Good Morning America, Fox Sports and more…
- Play and buy music by artist, song, album or genre from Amazon Music
- Explore Prime Music, which provides unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs, hundreds of playlists and personalized stations – free with Amazon Prime
- Enjoy podcasts, music and live radio from iHeartRadio
- Listen to audiobooks from Audible using their Audible or Kindle Unlimited subscription
- Add items to their To-Do and Shopping lists
- Get traffic updates for their daily commute
- Check the weather in their home town or in other locations around the world
- Access millions of Wikipedia articles
- Check appointments or weekend plans in Google Calendar
- Listen to jokes
- Play Simon Says
- Hunt for fun Easter Eggs, like “Alexa, I am your father”
- Set voice triggers for recipes created in If This Then That (IFTTT)
- Access new capabilities that you and other developers create using the Alexa Skills Kit
- Use the free Alexa companion app (available on Fire OS, Android, iOS and desktop browsers)