Amazon has been trying to cement its position as the dominant digital voice assistant for some time now, and last year launched an initiative which would allow users to access competitive voice assistants such as Bixby, Siri and Google Assistant via Amazon speakers.
So far nothing has come of this initiative, despite more than 30 companies having signed up last year, but that has not stopped Amazon from announcing more partners for the feature.
The Voice Interoperability Initiative (VII) now includes Dolby, Facebook, Garmin, and Xiaomi, and to hopefully get the initiative going Amazon has also released their Multi-Agent Design Guide, which provides recommendations and best practices for delivering customer experiences on devices that support multiple voice agents.
It is built around four priorities:
- Building voice-enabled devices that promote choice and flexibility through multiple, simultaneous wake words
- Developing voice agents that can work seamlessly with others, while protecting the privacy and security of customers
- Releasing technologies and solutions that make it easier to integrate multiple voice agents on a single product
- Accelerating machine learning and conversational AI research to improve the breadth, quality and interoperability of voice services
The initiative is now more than 70 companies strong, with Micah Collins, Director of Portal Product Management at new member Facebook noting:
“Portal from Facebook devices power hands-free video calling to connect people — and has Alexa built-in to control smart home devices, use Skills, and more. By enabling multiple voice services to co-exist on Portal, we are offering more capabilities and a better experience. We hope to see this from more companies in the future.”
Check our Amazon’s explainer video about their new guidelines below:
Read all the detail at Amazon here.