Design News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Alexa, How Do I Design With Your Voice Service?

Alexa, How Do I Design With Your Voice Service?
Smart companies like Amazon are making voice services, like Alexa, accessible to the masses, enabling developers to bring Alexa voice-controlled experiences to customers through available software development kits and hands-on workshops at events like ESC.

Intelligent voice is quickly becoming the artificial-intelligence user interface of choice for not only engineers but consumers, alike.

Smart companies like Amazon are making voice services, like the Amazon Alexa suite, accessible to the masses, enabling developers to bring Amazon Alexa voice-controlled experiences to customers.

The best part? Engineers and do-it-yourselfers have access to the SDK (software development kit) for AVS (the Alexa Voice Service), and at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley can attend workshop, conference, and technical sessions to learn how to implement Alexa in their designs.

Learn to implement Alexa in your designs with these ESC Silicon Valley sessions:

Register for ESC Silicon Valley to attend these sessions and more!

Design News recently connected with Fletcher Nelson, Developer Evangelist for the Alexa Voice Service at Amazon, who will be sharing his insights on AVS and intelligent voice-control capabilities at next week’s ESC Silicon Valley, where Amazon’s Smart Life Roadshow trailer will also be featured.

See what Nelson had to say on integrating voice user interface and Alexa below and register to learn more about Amazon AVS in-person at ESC, December 6-7, 2017.

Design News: What considerations did you look at when developing the SDK for AVS?

Nelson: We wanted to simplify the experience for developers to bring voice to their products and help quickly create client-side device software so they can get to market faster with their Alexa-enabled products. The AVS Device SDK provides C++-based libraries that enable devices to process audio inputs and triggers, as well as capability agents that leverage the AVS API to handle core Alexa functionality, speech recognition and synthesis, and other capabilities such as streaming media, timers and alarms, notifications, weather reports, and thousands of custom skills.

Design News: Did you consider the DIY/maker community and how they could expand upon the design’s base?

Nelson: The AVS Device SDK is available free of charge on GitHub to all developers including commercial developers, makers, hobbyists, and startups.

Fletcher Nelson, Developer Evangelist for the Alexa Voice Service at Amazon, will be sharing his insights on AVS and intelligent voice-control capabilities at ESC Silicon Valley 2017.

Design News: What can ESC attendees expect to find in the Amazon Alexa Smart Life Roadshow trailer, located on the ESC expo floor?

Nelson:  Attendees can expect to experience how voice control can transform the smart home experience. The Smart Life Roadshow is outfitted with the latest voice-forward technology including the latest smart tech smart tech from Sonos, ecobee, Logitech, and more. Visitors will receive a guided tour of the trailer, which demonstrates how to build an integrated smart home with Amazon Alexa. The trailer features four display areas—a home office, kitchen, product displays, and living room—and attendees will experience a variety of voice-forward experiences, from simple, one device interactions to scenes involving multiple products, controlled with a single voice command.

Design News: What are some design considerations when implementing a voice interface?

Nelson: Developers must consider a wide-range of considerations regarding user interactions, use cases, the appropriate far-field voice hardware, software and selection of development tools. AVS provides the flexibility to choose the best experience for your Alexa-enabled product. Check out AVS’ design guide for more here.

Design News: What are some of the emerging areas you see Alexa being integrated into?

Nelson: We’re excited by the growth we’ve seen in the smart home sector with speakers, thermostats, lights and more. We’re now starting to see Alexa on the go, integrated in mobile phones, cars, wearables, and more.

Design News: What advice would you give developers that are looking to integrate Alexa in a way that adds true value to a device?

Nelson: With AVS, developers can now bring Alexa to their products with ease and offer customers access to the growing number of Alexa features, smart home integrations, and skills. On-device actions specific to a product that have been traditionally difficult for customers, like setting an alarm clock, can now be done easily with a single voice command.  One of the greatest advantages of being part of the Alexa family is that Alexa is constantly getting smarter with new capabilities and services through machine learning, regular API updates, feature launches, and custom skills, which, in turn, provide more benefit to customers.

Design News: What is the best way for someone to get started building with Alexa?

Nelson: You can get started at or here. Build your first AVS prototype on a Raspberry Pi in under an hour. And come see us at ESC to learn more.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.