Amazon rolled out software that makes it easy for its Alexa voice assistant to recognize individual voices last month, and today it announced that it’s going to let third-party developers get in on the fun sometime early next year.
The actual feature is known as “Your Voice by Amazon,” reports TechCrunch, and it recognizes up to 10 different voices associated with a single Amazon account.
Developers will now be able to use this technology to create different skills, or the voice-operated apps that make up a big part of the Alexa experience.
Currently the feature only works for simple, built-in skills such as Amazon Music and shopping lists, but independent developers will likely come up with much more interesting uses for the technology. Off the top of my head, developers might be able to use it for a trivia game that keeps track of individual speakers’ scores.
Extending the technology to third-party developers is a significant leap, as competitor Google still hasn’t announced third-party support even though it supported voice commands from multiple users long before Amazon.
Amazon also took the opportunity to announce that it’s also extending the ability to use notifications on Echo speakers to a wider bunch of developers, and developers can hop into projects for that right now.
As for how it works? When you get a notification, you’ll hear the speaker chime, and then you’ll be able to tap the device for your notification or simply ask Alexa what you missed. We’ve prepared a more in-depth explanation here.