Amazon’s speech assistant Alexa is already used in several smart speakers and other devices, making it possible to control devices at home or in the office with speech. The speech assistant now comes to new devices thanks to Alexa Voice Services for IoT.

With the new service, Amazon Web Services (AWS) makes it possible to use voice control on low-energy devices. Previously, this proved to be difficult and expensive, writes Silicon Angle. The devices did not have enough processing power, so this had to be added.

For Alexa Voice Controls, devices require at least 100 MB of RAM on the device, as well as an ARM Cortex A-class microprocessor. However, Alexa Voice Services for IoT ensures that this is no longer the case.

To the cloud

With the new service, all processing requirements will be transferred to the cloud. As a result, it will be up to 50 percent cheaper to use voice control. Other tasks will also be moved to the cloud, such as retrieving, decoding and mixing audio.

All this means that Alexa can now also be used on smaller, ‘dumber’ devices, like light switches and thermostats. This makes new use cases possible for Alexa, with which Amazon can also further expand its product line.

AWS IoT Greengrass

AWS has also expanded the possibilities of AWS IoT Greengrass. This brings AWS functions to connected devices and allows companies to perform data collection and analysis closer to the source.

AWS IoT Greengrass now has support for Docker containers. Apps can easily be packaged in a Docker container image and used on all kinds of edge devices, without having to be rewritten first. As a result, any edge device can now collect and analyse device data.

In addition, a feature called Greengrass Stream Manager will be added, allowing companies to easily collect, process and export data streams from their edge devices. It is also possible to manage the life cycle of data.