Amazon's Echo device could just be the perfect solution for many people seeking the benefits of having a device that works off of voice controlled commands. Many may not know that the Echo speaker is powered by a separate piece of voice tech called Alexa Voice Service, and it's that special technology which may soon be able to present itself inside of either devices. The company behind Alexa has opened up its first available developer preview thus opening the gates of possibility to any manufacturers interested in adding Alexa's voice technology into their devices. On top of the AVS being available to developers, it's also free which likely makes it more enticing.
Even more impressive than making this technology free to use though, is that it's open to enterprising individuals too and not just developers, so if you're someone who likes to tinker with tech and think you might have a use for adding AVS into something around the home, go for it, the developer preview will start you off with some of the tools you need to get the project going. This should spawn some interesting capabilities inside of devices which don't currently have any voice tech like Alexa, (or any voice tech at all) although consumers shouldn't be expecting to see anything in the immediate future which will have these new Alexa powered voice functions built-in as this is only a developer preview. For the time being this type of tech will be limited to those testing it out and developing its uses, meaning we aren't likely to see any new devices for consumer purchase with Alexa inside any time soon. Being a developer preview also means this isn't a finalized build of stuff and that will likely come later.
Those looking to take advantage of the developer preview will have access to the software for building it into their own connected devices, which can enable additional voice enhanced functions. Amazon lists the developer preview as having multiple benefits for anyone choosing to begin a project, including the ability to "create frictionless interfaces for customers." Amazon also boasts ease of use here, stating that developers and hobbyists could potentially add Alexa to their devices in the matter of just "a few hours," which sounds like it's fairly quick to say the least. You can find all the details for the AVS developer preview at the link below if you're interested in starting a project.