Whatever your opinion of Amazon Echo is, you can’t deny that the Alexa Voice Service that powers the device has a lot of potential, and Amazon wants to capitalize on this. Rather than keeping Alexa an Echo-exclusive, the company has decided to open the service up to any developer that wants to use it to power their own connected devices, and the best part is that it’s entirely free.
The free Alexa Voice Service (AVS), the same service that powers Amazon Echo, is now available in developer preview to hobbyists and hardware makers who want to integrate Alexa into their connected devices. AVS enables your customers to speak to Alexa through the microphone on your device and Alexa will respond through the device’s speakers. With the developer preview, you get access to a collection of self-service tools, documentation, and APIs and code samples to enhance your device and delight your customers with new voice experiences. Alexa includes access to information, music, audiobooks, news, weather, traffic and more, including any custom skills you create using the Alexa Skills Kit to differentiate your device. Learn more about the developer preview.