Amazon will let companies build their own Alexa voices assistants

The tech giant is eyeing the lucrative connected vehicle market, in particular, where voice assistants could be key for control and entertainment.
15 January 2021
  • Businesses will be able to use Alexa tech to build their own customized voice assistants
  • Amazon is eyeing the lucrative connected vehicle market, partnering with Fiat Chrysler first

Amazon is opening up the tech behind its Alexa voice assistant system for businesses to build their own automated versions in other software and devices. 

Carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be the first customer to use the product Alexa Custom Assistant, which will allow businesses to create their own intelligent systems with unique voices, skills, and ‘wake’ words.

Business users have already been able to create apps from blueprints to do things like book rooms, connect to meetings, and access corporate data through smart speakers. 

However, the latest move is an effort to extend the software’s reach, and compete with competitors like Apple and Google whose own voice assistants have benefited from the vast reach of those firms’ captive smartphone users. 

As shown by its tie-up with Fiat Chrysler, one of the key markets Amazon wants to tap is in-car infotainment systems. 

A recent report by Block-Builders found a growing appetite for connected cars. More than two-thirds of customers claimed they’d switch car brands if faced with poor digital connectivity, and the entry of tech companies like Apple into the automobile market promises to set new precedents in the arena of in-car experiences. 

Manufacturers are exploring new technologies and partnerships that can enhance natural and safe interactions with vehicle controls and infotainment systems. 

Alongside voice assistants, gesture recognition and technologies like augmented reality offer new and exciting ways for passengers to access information and controls.

Carmakers using Alexa could theoretically use two voice assistants within a vehicle, enabling a driver to ask Alexa to roll down a car window using the brand’s own assistant, for example, or play an audiobook by routing the request to Alexa itself. 

Uses don’t stop at the in-car market, however. Amazon said Alexa Custom Assistant can be used to build intelligent assistants into mobile applications, smart properties, video games, and consumer electronics. 

In settings such as healthcare, voice assistant tech has vast potential in maintaining boundaries between what is and what isn’t sterile, while enabling access to information and imaging required for the patient and procedure, without breaking asepsis.

Meanwhile, customers will gain access to Alexa voice science experts to take them through the recording possess and develop the voice using advanced machine learning algorithms, and can plug-in pre-built applications such as communications, local search, traffic, and navigation.