In the lead up to CES, we’ll likely be seeing lots of announcements. Today, Amazon released a “premium” AVS kit that “uses Amazon-developed audio algorithms, wake word engine, and client application technology, delivering a high level of compatibility and the rich feature-set of Alexa functionality.” The kit has been in limited release for some time, or at least a version based on NXP technology.
What’s unclear is whether this technology will be used just for the development/testing of products or to license out to third party vendors. If it’s the latter, it could put Amazon in competition with half a dozen DSP technology providers and several wake word technology providers who have been supporting Amazon’s efforts to bring Alexa to hardware.
Integration and adoption of AVS can be challenging and Amazon has a delicate balancing act between rushing to help third parties to get to market by giving out its own technology vs cultivating a healthy ecosystem of technology providers that are turning the technologies into commodity. Will be interesting to see how this pans out this year.