Amazon has its fingers in all kinds of streaming pies. Not only does the tech giant have its own streaming service with Amazon Prime Video, but Amazon also sells its Fire Stick and Alexa home assistants which can run apps from other streaming providers. What’s more, Amazon Prime Video can even be streamed from other third-party streaming devices like Apple TV. Now, Amazon has announced the release of developer tools which can allow any streaming service, cable network, satellite TV provider, or other content provider to develop their own voice control tools for Alexa.
Amazon Alexa units already respond to users’ voice commands when watching Amazon Prime Video. Alexa can recognize commands to play films, series, or even specific episodes in response to user’s natural speech. Just this week, Amazon released a pack of tools called the Video Skill API which developers can use to write their own voice commands into Alexa’s framework. According to Amazon’s press release, Alexa will be able to search among all of its users’ streaming services to determine which is needed to respond to users’ commands:
For example, a customer could say, “Alexa, play Manchester by the Sea” without specifying a provider or device. Through the Video Skill API, Alexa is aware of the video devices and services your customer has or subscribes to. You create skills that connect your applications directly to Alexa’s video capabilities so that customers can control your content–without lifting a finger.
With this announcement, Amazon seems to be trying to position itself as an all-in-one hub for the dozens of streaming service choices out there. With so many different hardware requirements and individual logins to remember, cable cutters might find some relief in the convenience Alexa might soon offer to consumers who have multiple streaming subscriptions.