Alexa's lead over its rivals in the race of smart assistants is set to get even bigger. Amazon has opened up its Alexa Mobile Accessory (AMA) Kit to all third-party device makers. The move will further bolster the already strong lineup of third-party Alexa-enabled devices. The software development kit was first announced in January this year.
The AMA Kit allows device makers to build on-the-go Alexa experiences on headphones, headsets, and other Bluetooth devices. The product will hook directly into the Alexa app. They do not need to develop a separate app or create their own Alexa skill. The kit comes with a custom protocol for transmitting Alexa audio data and control signals over Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This way, Amazon also makes sure that all of the compatible Alexa-enabled devices are automatically updated with new features whenever they arrive in the Amazon Alexa App for iPhones and Android smartphones. It also benefits the users as they don't need a separate application to control their Alexa-enabled Bluetooth device.
While Apple's Siri is one of the first smart assistants in the consumer market, the market is still largely dominated by Alexa. Google Assistant is up close to the Amazon's smart assistant but lacks big time in terms of the number of third-party devices. Samsung, meanwhile, has opened up its smart assistant Bixby to third-party developers recently. So, it's another bloke that has jumped into the race. But even then, Alexa already has a head start over its rivals, and by opening the AMA Kit for all, the company's played another trick card.
For device makers to get started with the AMA Kit, the Qualcomm Smart Headset Reference Design also supports this AMA protocol. The Amazon certified Bluetooth headset comes with a price tag of $299.