Voice assistants have slowly spread from smartphones and smart speakers, landing on computers, cars and much more. Now, Amazon is looking to expand the capabilities of its assistant by releasing the Alexa Gadget Toolkit. It's worth noting that the company launched an SDK to help auto makers integrate the assistant into their vehicle entertainment systems last month, so it may have had this in the works for quite some time. GE already makes a microwave that supports Alexa; there are also a bunch of products from other hardware brands like Logitech and Garmin that help you take Alexa on the road, so it'll be interesting to see what Amazon comes up with to take them on.
Citing an internal document describing Amazon's plans, CNBC states that Amazon is expected to reveal some of these devices at an event later this month. With this new venture, Amazon will be establishing a proper ecosystem with its range of smart speakers and the new home appliances. Amazon is also stepping up partnerships with home installation companies and home builders. The company is reported to be working on a secretive home robot, as well, according to Bloomberg. Amazon also earlier this year bought the smart doorbell maker Ring.
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The thing that perhaps makes it unique is that you'll be able to control it via the Alexa app on your phone. Sonos, for example, has a similar business model, as it said in its quarterly filing that it relies on "custom installers of home audio systems for a significant portion of our sale".
To that end, Amazon acknowledges an emphasis on partnering with kid-friendly developers, and says that names such as Hasbro and WowWee Group Limited are already on board.