Amazon’s Alexa voice service made its debut with the company’s Echo line of smart speakers, but these days it’s also available on tablets, TVs, and other gadgets from Amazon and third-party companies.

A few companies have built Alexa into wearables like smartwatches and headphones in the past. But we’re probably going to see a lot more Alexa-enabled wearables.

That’s because Amazon has just introduced a new Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit, and the company says device makers including Bose, Beyderynamic, Jabra, iHome, and Linkplay are already developing products with it.

Amazon’s new kit lets companies add Alexa to just about any device with audio capabilities and Bluetooth wireless support. There’s a catch though: you’ll need to have the Alexa app installed on your Android or iOS phone to use Alexa on your headphones, smartwatch, or other mobile accessories.

That’s because the solution offloads a lot of the work to your phone. The upshot is that device makers don’t need to add complicated features to their earbuds or other gadgets. The down side is that you can’t use Alexa if you leave your phone at home.

Still, the move makes sense for Amazon. The company’s Echo line of products currently dominate the smart speaker space, but rivals Google and Apple have their own voice assistants that are baked into Android and iOS. There are also wearables and headphones that work with both Siri and Google Assistant.

Amazon hasn’t had as much success launching its own smartphones, so if the company wants you to use Alexa both at home and on the go, baking hands-free Alexa support into wearable devices could be a good way to tempt users into installing the Alexa apps on their phones.

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4 replies on “Amazon Alexa coming to more smartphones, headphones in 2018”

  1. Amazon blew it with the Fire Phone. All it’s problems would be solved if it just had a mobile phone platform.

    It would probably rule the world.

  2. From the Google Play store:

    This app has access to:
    Device & app history
    retrieve running apps
    find accounts on the device
    add or remove accounts
    find accounts on the device
    read your contacts
    approximate location (network-based)
    precise location (GPS and network-based)
    send SMS messages
    read phone status and identity
    read the contents of your USB storage
    modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
    read the contents of your USB storage
    modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
    take pictures and videos
    record audio
    Wi-Fi connection information
    view Wi-Fi connections
    Device ID & call information
    read phone status and identity
    power device on or off
    interact across users
    receive data from Internet
    view network connections
    create accounts and set passwords
    pair with Bluetooth devices
    access Bluetooth settings
    connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi
    disable your screen lock
    full network access
    change your audio settings
    run at startup
    draw over other apps
    use accounts on the device
    control vibration
    prevent device from sleeping
    Updates to may automatically add additional capabilities within each group.

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