Amazon recently announced the Alexa Fund, up to $100 million in investments to support developers, manufacturers, and startups who are passionate about creating new experiences designed around the human voice.
The Alexa Fund—named for Alexa, the cloud-based voice service that powers Amazon Echo—is open to anyone with an innovative idea for how voice technology can improve customers’ lives.
“Experiences designed around the human voice will fundamentally improve the way people use technology,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO.
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Amazon also today introduced the Alexa Skills Kit, a collection of self-service APIs and tools that make it possible for developers to create new voice-driven skills and capabilities for Alexa.
The Alexa Fund is launching with seven initial investments, including Vancouver’s Mojio, a provider of connected car solutions. The company’s device connects to a vehicle’s OBD-II port and extracts driving performance, on-board systems status, and other diagnostic data. Mojio uses the Alexa Skills Kit to enable customers to use Echo or other Alexa-enabled devices to ask “Alexa, do I need to get gas on the way to work today?” before leaving home or “Alexa, where is my daughter driving the car this evening?” giving them the peace of mind that the car is healthy and the kids are safe.