In an effort to bring Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) Alexa everywhere, the e-commerce giant announced it's going after in-car infotainment systems.
According to Mashable on Thursday (August 9), the Seattle, Washington online retailing giant released a developer kit so that Alexa, its voice-activated digital assistant, could be used in cars. It's an area where Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) Apple CarPlay and Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOG) Android Auto have long been players. With the developer kit, consumers will soon be able to get directions, listen to songs, make phone calls and search for nearby businesses with voice commands. Its expected to work the same as with Amazon’s line of Echo voice activated speakers. The developer's kit is available for anyone to access but is aimed at car manufacturers and businesses that develop in-car infotainment systems, noted Mashable. Alexa enabled vehicles will also be able to control smart home devices, launch Alexa skills and check the weather. (See more: Alexa Comes to Wall Street Thanks to JPMorgan.)
Amazon Wants Alexa To Control Vehicles
The voice-activated assistant has already found its way into the vehicles of carmakers including Ford Motor Co. (F), Toyota Corp., Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and General Motors (GM) but this marks the first time Amazon has created an Alexa developer kit solely for vehicles, noted VentureBeat. It's also aimed at better competing against the likes of Apple and Google as vehicles become more digitally integrated.
Alexa Everywhere Is The Goal
The launch of the Alexa developer kit for cars comes at a time when the online retailing giant is aiming to integrate Alexa everywhere it can. With the Echo line of devices widely popular with all sorts of consumers, Amazon is trying to capitalize on that by expanding the digital assistants uses. Take its Alexa Fund for one example. It provides up to $100 million in venture capital funding to fuel new products and services around its voice-activated digital assistant. Its developer kits serve as a way to drive Alexa into more devices. In addition to cars, Amazon wants Alexa to be a mainstay in the home and to control the growing market for home devices.
It may not have an uphill battle based on the demand for its voice-activated devices during its Prime Day shopping event in July. (See more: Amazon Made More Than $4B on Prime Day: Wedbush.) Amazon said it sold more than 100 million products during the 36-hour promotion and that small and medium-sized businesses had more than $1 billion with bestsellers around the world including the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and the Echo Dot.