Amazon is aiming to beef up Alexa’s location-based capabilities by rolling out a new API that enables location basic interactions with devices.
In a blog post, Amazon said the new device address API enables skills to request and access the address in the customer’s device setting. That means developers can build skills that deliver food and groceries to a customer's home or provide directions to a store. It also enables app developers to see where their users are.
“When a user enables a skill with the Alexa app that wants to use location data, the user will be prompted to provide consent for location data to be made available,” wrote Amazon in the post.
Developers will be able to request full addresses or counties and postal codes only. Amazon also unveiled that brands are already using the API, including AccuWeather, Just Eat and Real. With the API, AccuWeather gives customers local weather information, while Just Eat uses it to analyze the locations of customers to improve delivery. Real gives customers local news, opening store hours, and discounts for local stores.
The move on the part of Amazon to add the new API comes at a time when Alexa is playing a bigger role in things. Last month Amazon announced Alexa is getting embedded into the Amazon app. On the company’s website, Amazon said Alexa will work on Amazon’s iOS app to ask questions, do shopping, play music, and perform a host of other tasks. According to Amazon, with the updated app, users can tell Alexa things like “search for paper towels,” “reorder batteries,” “track my last order,” or “find bestselling camera, and Alexa will deliver on all the requests. In addition to making shopping easier, Amazon said Alexa in the Amazon app can respond to commands including “play some music,” “play the Beatles,” “play dance music,” and “play my Kindle book.” Alexa can also answer basic questions, such as “When is Memorial Day?” as well as give users updates on news, weather and traffic.