Amazon has launched Echosim.io and has integrated Alexa, the voice-powered AI software that is available in the Echo, Dot and Tap, into the browser itself. It will now be possible to begin asking queries to Alexa just by clicking and holding the microphone button, after an Amazon account has been signed into. Amazon’s Alexa will be capable of answering fundamental queries pertaining to information, weather, news and music, as well as assuming control over the other gadgets in the home.
However, ever since it has been released, one of the actually differentiating factors for the Echo is its ability to amalgamate with third-party developers. Amazon Echo can be used by anyone to order an array of products, including a pizza and an Uber ride, or even tuning a guitar. The primary concern is that a majority of users do not possess an Echo and therefore remains devoid of the chance to operate the device or even see the way it functions.
Meanwhile, Echosim.io will offer an opportunity to anyone, who has internet at access, to understand the functioning of Alexa. Echosim.io was created in 2015 by Nexmo developer advocate Sam Machin at a hackathon. Continuous efforts are being made by Amazon to convert Alexa into a platform, which will go beyond the own hardware of Amazon. SDKs and APIs were recently released by the company, with the aim of allowing hardware and software developers to amalgamate Alexa with their wares.
If a user follows the tutorials provided by Amazon, it will likely take less than 60 minutes to create the first Alexa skill, according to Glenn Cameron from Amazon. This recent move of Alexa integration has enhanced the accessibility of the platform. All the users have to do is log into with their Amazon account and this gives accessibility to Echosim.io to the users’ microphone and the users can begin questioning.
According to a story published on the topic by Slash Gear, “A browser-based version of Amazon’s Echo speaker should make Alexa even easier to try, with Amazon hoping the hardware-free experience encourages more developers to code for the platform. Echosim.io basically recreates the Echo hardware in virtual form, powered by the very same cloud-based processing that those with the physical device get to engage with.”
“Developers worldwide can use Echosim.io to experience Alexa,” Glenn Cameron, Developer Marketing Manager on the Alexa team, said today. “Its simplicity makes it easy for anyone to understand what an Echo is and what it does without having to explain Alexa’s unique UX.”
“Amazon Alexa, the powerful virtual assistant found inside the retail giant’s Echo speaker, is now available in your browser. It can answer your questions and even control your smart devices, and all you need is an Amazon account and a microphone. The Alexa in the browser project was actually started by Nexmo developer Sam Machin at a hackathon in 2015,” according to a recent Cultofmac News report.
There are some things Alexa in your browser cannot do — like stream your music — but if you’ve wondered what the virtual assistant is capable of, now’s your chance to try it out. Amazon will be hoping it can convince you to pick up one of its speakers, which really are terrific. Echoism.io comes at an interesting time, with Apple reportedly working on its very own Alexa rival that could be baked into Apple TV. But for it to be half as good as Alexa, Apple will need to embrace third-party integration; its usual locked down approach simply won’t work.
A report published in Uber Gizmo informed, “With all the different voice assistants available in today’s market, we’re sure that many were skeptical about Amazon’s ability to create their own voice assistant when they launched the Echo speakers. Turns out that many were pleasantly surprised as Alexa proved to be responsive and very functional.”
Note that this isn’t meant to be a voice assistant for the web, but rather it is to show users how useful Alexa is, and maybe even convince you to get an Echo speaker, or convince developers about Alexa’s functionality. Amazon’s timing couldn’t be better as according to the rumors, Apple is also planning on finally releasing Siri’s SDK. We had heard that Apple was planning on creating their own version of the Amazon Echo, except that it will be with the Apple TV. In any case if you’d like to check it out, head on over to the Echosim.io website where you’ll need to sign in with your Amazon credentials.