Amazon Launches Alexa Gadgets Toolkit
Earlier this week Amazon launched the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit (Beta), designed for developers to create Echo-connected accessories, known as Alexa Gadgets. From the announcement homepage,
The Alexa Gadgets Toolkit offers self-service APIs, including Gadget Interfaces that expose metadata of Alexa’s capabilities on compatible Echo devices. It also includes technical documentation and sample code that facilitate direct pairing and connectivity, communication, and over-the-air (OTA) updates between your gadget and its paired Echo device. Start building today without requiring advanced processors, microphone and audio processing, or device cloud management.
KIDS FOCUSED GADGETS AND SKILLS TOO
Amazon gave early access to developers Hasbro, WowWe Group Limites, Gemmy Industries, BabyPlus®, TOMY International, Novelia, and eKids (an affiliate of iHome) in anticipation of Alexa Gadgets for Kids, to be released later this year. The devices will also be accompanied by kid-friendly Alexa skills. Products in development include a rubber-ducky voice assistant called Waddles the Smart DuckTM, smart toothbrushes that encourage proper teeth-brushing, and an interactive touch sensitive table mat for kids.
Compatible With New Devices – Reinforces Developer Culture
The timing of the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit’s launch makes sense considering Amazon announced a dozen new Echo devices this week. Now developers and companies have even more options and creative license to develop voice-first products that can connect to dozens of different Echo devices. The Alexa Gadgets Toolkit could also accelerate time to market for Alexa-friendly products as developers do not have to integrate their creations with Alexa. Instead, they just need to create a product with Bluetooth capabilities to connect with Alexa. Amazon has made it clear that one of their priorities is to make it easy for companies to include Alexa in their products. The Alexa Gadget Toolkit is another example of how Amazon wants Alexa to be everywhere, and fast.