In the battle for smart speaker dominance, estimates show that Amazon’s Alexa has a dominating lead with 70 percent of the market. Based on Amazon’s recent announcement, that market share may increase even more.
The company recently announced Alexa Voice Service (AVS), an effort to bring Alexa to Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Previously, Alexa-enabled devices required an application-class processor with at least 50MB of memory, making it difficult to integrate Alexa with IoT devices.
With the new AVS, Amazon will offload most of the processing to the cloud, rather than the actual device, significantly reducing its footprint and requirements. As a result, AVS can be used with microcontroller-class processors with less than 1MB of embedded memory.
“With the reduction in the engineering bill of materials (eBoM) cost, device makers can now cost-effectively build new categories of differentiated voice-enabled products such as light switches, thermostats, small appliances and more. This allows end-consumers to talk directly to Alexa in new parts of their home, office, or hotel rooms for a truly ambient experience.”
Amazon is also working to make sure AVS is as easy as possible for developers to hit the ground running with.
“To make the AVS Integration for AWS IoT Core as simple as possible, APN partners have launched AVS qualified hardware development kits enabled by real time operating systems for microcontrollers like Amazon FreeRTOS that connect to AWS IoT Core by default. This helps device makers go to market quickly without worrying about writing complex security and connectivity firmware or managing the large device footprint previously associated with building Alexa Built-in devices with the AVS Device SDK.”
Google, Facebook and Apple will need to up their game if they intend to compete with Amazon’s new offensive.