Amazon Alexa Is Heading To Smartwatches And Headphones Later This Year

When it comes to AI voice assistants, it seems as though Alexa integration is everywhere. Besides integration in first-party hardware like Amazon's Echo family, Fire tablets, and Fire TV streamers, there are hundreds, if not thousands of devices that are compatible with the Alexa ecosystem.

Now, Amazon is looking to further expand its reach by supporting low-power mobile devices with the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit. This kit allows hardware OEMs to make minimal coding investments to allows their Bluetooth-equipped devices to tap into the Alexa Voice Service (AVS), and communicate directly with the Alexa app for Android and iOS.

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In practice, voice requests would be accepted by, for example, a smartwatch, and then be processed on your more powerful Android-based smartphone or iPhone. As long as there is a viable connection between the smart device and your smartphone, and you have an internet connection, Alexa voice requests should go off without a hitch.

Amazon is targeting the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit for a wide range of devices including headphones, headsets, smartwatches, fitness trackers, and even wireless earbuds. This should give them unfettered access to all of the services provided by AVS including Alexa skills, requisite weather updates and, of course, smart home integration.

Not surprisingly, Amazon has signed up some key players to deliver Alexa to consumer mobile devices including Bose, Jabra, iHome, and Beyerdynamic. Although the toolkit isn't due until "later this year", Amazon's aforementioned partners with early access are already developing their compatible products. 

Given that Apple and Google has similar integration with AirPods/Siri and Pixel Buds/Google Assistant respectively, it makes sense that Amazon would want to adopt a similar strategy. Now, if only the company would make its own-branded smartwatches, fitness trackers, and headphones...