A new innovation announced this week by Amazon, the global e-commerce giant, will purportedly halve the cost of making devices enabled with Alexa voice services.

This comes ahead of ahead of its AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas next week. According to a blog post on the Amazon Web Services site, Alexa Voice Service integration will now be a feature of AWS IoT core, the most popular cloud platform for IoT developers controls a 51.8% market share according to Eclipse Foundation data from 2018 (Microsoft’s Azure is the challenger in second place.)

Such a move is extremely significant, as the integration “reduces the cost of producing Alexa Built-in devices by up to 50% by offloading compute and memory intensive audio workloads to the cloud.”

It works by shifting all media retrieval, audio decoding, audio mixing, and state management from the physical device, which required a certain size of processor to work, to a virtual device in Amazon’s cloud.

“This lowers the hardware requirements of integrating AVS on a device from 50 MB of RAM to 1MB of RAM and ARM Cortex 'A' class microprocessors to ARM Cortex ‘M’ class microcontrollers.”

In effect, this means cheaper connectivity and smaller devices, which points to growing integration across a much larger selection of products at much more competitive prices.

“With this reduction in production cost, customers can now cost-effectively build new categories of differentiated voice-enabled products such as light switches, thermostats, and small appliances,” Amazon says. “This allows consumers to talk directly to Alexa in new parts of their home, office, or hotel rooms for a truly ambient experience.”

While the shape of the voice market is as yet blurry, this new development suggests the technology is about to get a lot more pervasive, and Amazon’s first-mover advantage in the space is only getting stronger.

Sourced from Amazon, VentureBeat; additional content by WARC staff