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Amazon Web Services today announced the launch of hands-free room booking capabilities with Alexa for Business. Working with Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus speakers, users can simply ask “Alexa, is this room free?” They can also ask Alexa if a room is booked, if a room is free, or reserve a conference room with their voice.

A Room Booking API will soon be made available for developers, according to an AWS blog post. A beta version is already being used by meeting scheduling software providers Joan and Robin.

To activate room booking capabilities, Alexa for Business users must re-link their G Suite or Office 365 calendar account or enable writing to calendar for Microsoft Exchange.

Room booking with Alexa was not previously a native experience, but it’s not entirely new, as companies have used Teem, an Alexa for Business software provider, to coordinate conference room scheduling and smart device control.

Beyond the workplace, Alexa for Business is also being used in environments where security is paramount, such as hotel rooms.

Additional Alexa for Business news could be on the way soon, with the recent introduction of the second-generation Echo Show and the Alexa Presentation Language (APL) for more visual Alexa skills last month, and with AWS re:Invent 2018 scheduled to take place in Las Vegas next month.


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