Earlier this week we saw Amazon shine the spotlight on its Echo appliance (above) as it made the digital assistant available for general sale. Much of Echo’s power comes from Amazon’s Alexa cloud-based voice service, translating spoken commands into actions. Now Alexa is preparing to make a bold expansion, as Amazon opens the service for devs everywhere to take advantage of.

Amazon’s inviting devs to build their own Echo-like products by making its Alexa Voice Service free to use. For companies already working on connected-home appliances, that means a quick-and-easy way to implement powerful voice control. Amazon’s got a free SDK they can turn to, and it’s even funding a $100 million investment effort to encourage projects taking advantage of Alexa.

Access to AVS opens in a dev preview form sometime next month. While that means it will probably be some time before we see the fruits of this new expansion of Alexa access, we’ll be quite curious to see what talented coders and engineers are able to come up with. What would you do if you could make your own app or device that had cloud-powered voice control?

Source: Amazon

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