Amazon Echo

Amazon launched its Amazon Echo connected speaker to the masses earlier this week, and now it wants to see the Alexa voice recognition technology used by more companies. Amazon has revealed the Alexa Fund, which will offer up to $100 million for hardware and software companies that will use its technology to expand access to voice in their products. Amazon has already started giving seven companies money under the Alexa Fund.

Amazon said it is looking to fund efforts in three particular areas:

  • New hardware products for inside or outside the home that would benefit from Alexa's voice interface.
  • New features and functionality for Alexa.
  • New contributions to the science behind voice technology, including text-to-speech, natural language understanding, and automatic speech recognition.

Amazon is also opening up its Alexa Voice Service to third-parties which will allow companies to add Alexa to their products. Finally, Amazon has launched the Alexa Skills Kit, an SDK for developers to help them create all-new features based on Alexa.

Source: Amazon (1), (2), (3)