Amazon just took a major step toward improving the accessibility of Alexa, the voice-based assistant found in Echo, by integrating its AI capabilities in the browser.
The integration on Echosim.io opens up the channel for anyone one wanting to test out Alexa before making a purchase of Amazon's Dot, Echo or Tap. The website allows Amazon users to ask Alexa questions by clicking on the microphone button on the website.
The website is the product of a 2015 hackathon, where Nexmo Developer Sam Machin built Echosim.io to let everyone experience the capabilities of Alexa without owning one.
The launch of Alexa's skill testing tool comes as the Seattle-based company looks into further improving the functionalities of the virtual assistant by working with third-party developers. The move is also expected to help improve consumer sales with the option to test out some of its services online.
With the release of Amazon Alexa's SDKs and APIs, the company is now letting both software and hardware developers to incorporate Alexa into their products.
Since its launch, Amazon has extensively worked on adding new capabilities to Alexa. Some of the tasks Alexa can undertake include giving weather forecasts, reading news, playing music, calling an Uber, and controlling other gadgets in a home.
Amazon is now also working with PYMNTS.com on the PYMNTS/Amazon Alexa challenge which involves top industry innovators, including Discover, Visa and Western Union, who are participating in a five-week challenge to reimagine the delivery of financial services and payments.