Amazon Takes On Siri And Cortana By Opening Alexa Virtual Assistant To Hardware Makers

Digital assistants like Siri and Cortana have their own little perks, but a big one none of them have is the ability to appear on other platforms. Amazon's Alexa, the AI assistant featured on the company's Echo device, is going to become the first -- or at least the first with the most potential.

Soon, developers of hardware products will be able to integrate Amazon's Alexa for free. When keeping costs down, nothing beats "free", and we're talking about a very good solution here, and one that's only going to get better thanks to Amazon's machine learning efforts.

Amazon Echo

Amazon gives a couple of examples of what could be done with Alexa. Someone could ask their Wi-Fi alarm clock for the weather, as one example, or ask their car to begin reading them a book (how odd would that have sounded 20 or so years ago?). Uses could even spread to business. Imagine going to a cinema and being able to ask the machine for the number of tickets you want rather than having to fiddle with a clunky user interface.

Amazon's VP of Amazon Echo Greg Hart touts the ease of implementing its APIs: "We’ve made adding Alexa incredibly easy for developers—any device with a speaker, an Internet connection, and a microphone can integrate Alexa with just a few lines of code. From start-ups to established companies, we can’t wait to see how developers integrate Alexa."

We can't wait either, and something tells me it won't take long before we begin to hear of projects that adopt Alexa.