Amazon Alexa Coders Can Now Use 8 Different Voices in Their Skills


Obvious use cases would be adding multiple "characters" to Skill-based games and experiences.

Amazon (amzn) said that developers who are accepted to test the voices will be able to use them for free, but that will likely change when the voices are available to the general public to be used outside of a preview.

While no vehicle maker is offering the fully integrated experience yet, Amazon is promising much the same - the ability to do searches, navigation, home automation, check your calendar and more. "You can even use an Amazon Polly voice for every utterance in your skill if you like".

Adding new voices into a skill can make it more interesting for customers to use, according to an Amazon blog post.

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Amazon Polly is a service that turns text into lifelike speech, allowing you to create applications that talk, and build entirely new categories of speech-enabled products. Using Amazon Polly, you can choose a different voice for any utterance by using the Structured Speech Markup Language (SSML) and specifying an Amazon Polly voice using the "voice name" tag. With Alexa of course already in more than 20% of United States households it seems likely automakers will see this as a bigger selling point than the rarely used Cortana service.

Polly's voices are far from ideal, of course, but as they see more use, that could change.

Apart from this, Amazon has also introduced Alexa Voice Shortcut Widget, that allows users to have access to Alexa at the tap of an icon.