April 13, 2017 Last Updated 12:02 pm

Amazon’s 7-microphone tech used in Echo to be available to 3rd-party device makers

The effort is designed to make it easier for commercial device manufacturers to build and launch far-field products with Amazon’s Alexa voice technology

The online retailer and tech company Amazon today announced that it will now make its 7-microphone voice processing technology, used in its Amazon Echo, available to third-party device makers. It is simply a continuation of its effort to get third parties to use Alexa and other Amazon technology, which would help monetize that technology – probably in a more profitable way that its own products can (because they are so competitively priced).

This isn’t huge news, of course, but it is interesting the approach Amazon is taking versus, say, Apple. Apple really struggles to extend the reach of their technology because, unlike Microsoft, it doesn’t license its operating system. It also isn’t making Siri omnipresent outside iOS devices.

To assist third parties, Amazon has launched a developer site, offering sign ups to learn more about the Alexa 7-Mic Far-Field Dev Kit.

Designed to help commercial device manufacturers easily create far-field voice experiences, this development kit features the same 7-mic circular array and technology for “Alexa” wake word recognition, beam forming, noise reduction, acoustic echo cancellation, and barge-in capabilities found in the Amazon Echo. This solution is supported by leading chipset providers, enabling device manufacturers to quickly integrate Alexa voice capabilities into their products.

Far-Field Voice Recognition

Alexa wake word technology

Compatible with leading chipset solutions

To get the Amazon Alexa 7-Mic Far-Field Dev Kit a commercial device manufacturer will need to get an invitation from Amazon (by signing up on the site), but one can imagine a number of companies signing up just to check it out.

“The Amazon Alexa 7-Mic Far-Field Dev Kit includes the same 7-microphone circular array found in the Amazon Echo and Amazon technology for wake word recognition, beam forming, noise reduction, echo cancellation, and sample client code for communication with the Alexa Voice Service (AVS). The solution is supported by leading chipset providers,” said Ted Karczewski, said Content Marketing Manager, Alexa Voice Service at Amazon.

“With this release, we are making it easier for commercial device manufacturers to build and launch far-field products with Alexa by reducing development time and cost.”

Here is Amazon’s press release on the new program:


SEATTLE, Wash. –  April 13, 2017 – 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.

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