This week Amazon made its Echo smart speaker generally available to consumers and released a set of development tools called the Alexa Skills Kit, which will allows third-party developers to create apps for the device. In addition, it announced the Alexa Fund, which will provide up to $100 million in investment funds to developers and manufacturers working with the device.
In time, Alexa could become an Internet of Things (IoT) hub for smart homes. It can use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to communicate with smart devices like lighting, thermostats, security systems and garage doors.
Amazon is also making Echo's Alexa Voice Service available to other manufacturers to incorporate into their products.