Amazon Expands Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit For Device Makers

Amazon Alexa

Amazon’s Alexa Mobile Accessory (AMA) kit, which is software to help integrate Alexa into devices, is getting new features, including GPS-based location support and a slew of other third-party skills, according to reports.  

“We are excited to announce expanded features and solutions that enable device makers to bring Alexa experiences to headphones, earbuds, headsets, and other Bluetooth devices …” Amazon said in a blog post. “Today, we are announcing new AMA features, including location-aware responses, access to more music services, and new solutions including a new development kit from Knowles, and two new turnkey headphone and earbud solutions from My Music Group, making it even easier for device makers to provide delightful on-the-go experiences.”

The new GPS-based features will allow users to ask Alexa for things like traffic updates, directions, weather, movie times and searches. There’s also access to a number of media platforms, including Sirius XM, Kindle, Audible, Amazon Music and Pandora. Another new feature are wake-word engines that will let device makers give a 100 percent hands-free experience with headphones and earbuds.

As for turnkey solutions, Amazon has three new ones: The Knowles AISonic SmartMic Headset, the BarbetSound AskMe and the BarbetSound TalkEasy. 

The Smartmic Headset “development Kit for Amazon AVS is a production-ready implementation of AMA, and is the first Amazon-qualified development kit for hearables with voice-initiated Alexa functionality. The solution features Knowles’ IA611 SmartMic chip, which combines a capacitive MEMS microphone with low power digital signal processor (DSP) core in a single compact package, reducing size and cost, and simplifying the integration. It is combined with the Bestechnic BES2000i BT MCU incorporating the AMA protocol stack,” Amazon said.

The BarbetSound AskMe “is an Alexa built-in Bluetooth headphone with soft, cushioned ear cups and a foldable design. This device features a microphone and 12mW transducer output. The rechargeable 300mAh battery in the headphone has a charge time of one hour and a playback time of 10 hours at maximum volume,“ Amazon said.

Finally, the BarbetSound TalkEasy “is an Alexa built-in Bluetooth earbud, designed to provide stability during movement. This device features a microphone and 8mW transducer output.”