Amazon Wants Alexa In Smaller Devices
Amazon is seeking to add Alexa integration into smaller devices by reducing the minimum memory requirement for adding the voice assistant onto a device.
The company has unveiled its brand new Alexa Voice Service (AVS) integration for its IoT Core, reducing the minimum memory requirement for putting Alexa on a device from 100MB to 1MB of RAM.
This massive reduction will enable hardware makers to integrate Alexa directly into smaller devices without needing to pair them with a separate Alexa-enabled device.
To achieve this, Amazon has offloaded workloads to the cloud without increasing computing costs for device makers.
Dirk Didascalou, vice president of AWS IoT said Amazon now offloads ‘the vast majority of all of this to the cloud … So the device can be ultra dumb’ with the only task required of the device is ‘wake word detection’
Amazon claims cloud-outsourcing will reduce the cost of materials for smaller Alexa enabled devices by up to 50%, which should significantly reduce retail prices for consumers.
Didascalou said the future will ‘see many more form factors and devices now being able to be voice-controlled and directly spoken to’.
What that could mean for Amazon is even more privacy and security headaches for a business already embattled with concerns and fears over how much data is collected by voice assistant services.
Amazon is aggressively moving into several different industries beyond its initial online retail marketplace, with the company even collaborating with pharmaceutical company Omnicell to allow Alexa to refill prescriptions on voice command.
Amazon is also moving into Wi-Fi Access, with users able to control Eero routers using Amazon Alexa, and is even taking on supermarkets with grocery delivery and physical grocery stores.
While these developments are only available within the US, it does indicate just how widespread Amazon has become globally.
Amazon VP of smart home, Daniel Rausch told Forbes magazine that ‘A lot of what [Amazon will] do in the near term is make even complex tasks simple’.
Dirk Didascalou, however, wants to ‘leave it up to your imagination to think what’ more voice-controlled devices in the future would mean’.