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Amazon announces three initiatives to support Alexa voice service

26 June 2015

Amazon has announced three initiatives for support Alexa voice service and accompanying wireless personal assistant, Amazon Echo, which included a software development kit and a $100-million fund to aid the efforts of engineers building experiences around human speech.

The announcement comes only two days following Amazon making the Echo wireless speaker available to the masses. The e-retail giant was now pushing Alexa, the Echo's cloud-based virtual assistant.

According to commentators, if external developers would choose to integrate Alexa with new hardware, it could make Amazon's approach to voice search more widely accepted in a way Siri, Cortana and Google Now had not been able to manage, as yet.

Developers could use the cloud-based Amazon Voice Service (AVS) to build Alexa into new devices.

''Experiences designed around the human voice will fundamentally improve the way people use technology,'' Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

''Since introducing Amazon Echo, we've heard from developers, manufacturers, and start-ups of all sizes who want to innovate with this new technology. With the Alexa Fund, we want to empower people to explore the boundaries of voice technology.''

According to commentators, though Amazon was not as well-known for its voice control technology as, say Apple's Siri, Google Now or Microsoft's Cortana, the company clearly had plans to change that.

Alexa, the cloud-based system controlled Amazon Echo voice-controlled speaker system.

The system has received mixed reviews and it was clear, that Amazon saw this as the next logical step in integrating its technology and online store into customers' lives.

Seven companies had received funding so far, including a company that made a home security system, one that tracks ingredients in meals while they were being cooked, and a connected car system that tracked data on one's vehicles no matter where they were.

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