Amazon apparently now believes you should be able to use any voice assistant on any device, even though it has yet to offer such a thing itself.
The company has announced a new Voice Interoperability Initiative, with the goal of allowing people to access multiple voice services – from Amazon Alexa to Microsoft Cortana – on a single device. More than 30 companies have joined the effort, including Spotify, Sonos, Salesforce, Microsoft, Harman, Ecobee, Bose, and BMW. Of course, Google, Apple, and Samsung are all missing from the list.
The Voice Interoperability Initiative is based around new technology that will allow devices to support simultaneous wake words – something that typically requires a lot of money, resources, and hardware to develop. As a result, Intel and Qualcomm Technologies have joined this initiative, both promising to help lower costs. Members have also pledged to help researchers and universities improve machine learning.
“The initiative is built around a shared belief that voice services should work seamlessly alongside one another on a single device, and that voice-enabled products should be designed to support multiple simultaneous wake words,” explained Amazon in a press release.
Keep in mind this news comes one day before Amazon’s hardware event, so we might hear more about this initiative shortly. Stay tuned.