Amazon's Echo Home-Automation Device Signals Emerging Opportunities, And Serious Threats, For Solution Providers

Amazon's decision to open the technology that enables the voice-recognition capabilities of Echo, the smart-home device that hit the wider market this week, to outside developers signals both emerging opportunities and potential threats for the channel, according to several AWS partners.

The brain of Amazon's new Internet-of-Things device is called Alexa, a cloud-based artificial intelligence that responds to voice commands. Amazon said Thursday that it not only will make available a kit that partners can use to take advantage of Alexa's advanced speech recognition capabilities and link to its backend cloud services, but that it also has dedicated $100 million to invest in companies that are developing such devices.

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