There have been a few Alexa-enabled devices from third-parties, but only Amazon's own hardware uses its fancy far-field microphones and speech processing technology. That's going to change soon, though. Amazon has announced the availability of the Amazon Alexa 7-Mic Far-Field Development Kit, which will let third-parties develop better Alexa devices.

The kit will give Amazon's partners access to the same circular 7-microphone array that's used on the Amazon Echo, which will be supported by "leading chipset providers." Amazon even provides demo hardware. The software will include Amazon's proprietary engine for wake word recognition, beamforming, noise reduction, and echo cancellation. Developers also get some reference software for device control and communication with the Alexa voice service.

The development kit is not available to all comers—it's part of a controlled invite-only program from Amazon. OEMs that want to get access to the kit can request an invite from Amazon online.

Press Release

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(NASDAQ: AMZN) – Amazon today announced that for the first time it is making the high-performance far-field microphone array and voice processing technology found in Amazon Echo available to hardware makers who want to build the Alexa experience into their products. With the Amazon Alexa 7-Mic Far-Field Development Kit, Amazon is making it easier for commercial developers to build and launch far-field voice-initiated products with Alexa by reducing development time and cost.

“Since the introduction of Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, device makers have been asking us to provide the technology and tools to enable a far-field Alexa experience for their products,” said Priya Abani, Director, Amazon Alexa. “With this new reference solution, developers can design products with the same unique 7-mic circular array, beamforming technology, and voice processing software that have made Amazon Echo so popular with customers. It’s never been easier for device makers to integrate Alexa and offer their customers world-class voice experiences.”

The hardware-based reference solution will be supported by leading chipset providers. The solution includes:

  • The same 7-microphone array found in Amazon Echo
  • Amazon’s proprietary software for wake word recognition, beamforming, noise reduction, and echo cancellation
  • Reference client software for local device control and communication with the Alexa Voice Service

The Amazon Alexa 7-Mic Far-Field Development Kit will be available to commercial device manufacturers through an exclusive, invite-only program. OEMs can visit developer.amazon.com/alexa-voice-service/dev-kits/amazon-7-mic to request an invite and learn more about the reference solutions currently available for hardware makers wanting to integrate Alexa.