Amazon today announced general availability for its mobile accessory kit, a toolkit to help manufacturers quickly add Alexa to their devices. The Alexa Mobile Accessory (AMA) kit allows Bluetooth-enabled devices to connect with the Alexa smartphone app for voice control of things like music, news, access to tens of thousands of Alexa skills, and smart home control.
Also announced today: Qualcomm introduced Smart Headset, the first Amazon approved reference design for device makers to test Alexa on the go.
The $299 device includes push-to-talk access to Alexa through the Alexa smartphone app. It uses the Alexa Mobile Accessory protocol to transmit Alexa audio data and controls over Bluetooth.
The mobile accessory kit was initially made available for a limited number of devices, such as the Jabra Elite 65t and headphones from Bose and Sony, all of which utilize the Alexa Voice Service (AVS). AVS provides many of Alexa’s most popular services, but as this review of Jabra Elite 65t headphones makes clear, there are some limitations.
Amazon first introduced the mobile accessory kit in January ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to bring the intelligent assistant to more Bluetooth-enabled devices like wireless headphones and wearables, part of an overall push to put Alexa in homes, cars, and the workplace.
Alexa for Business was made available for third-party devices last month, for the first time extending the service utilized by businesses, hotels, and colleges beyond the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot.
The Auto SDK, one of the first projects from the Alexa Auto team, was introduced by Amazon in August to help carmakers put Alexa into more infotainment systems.
More news on this front is likely on the way when OEMs show off their latest gadgets at CES in January 2019.