Fans of Amazon’s Echo devices can now take advantage of multi-room audio across multiple Alexa-powered devices, a feature that has long been requested by a strong fanbase of the digital assistant hardware.
Amazon also plans to include multi-room music across connected speakers, although right now, the feature is limited to Echo devices.
As of right now, Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show are only able to play multi-room music via Amazon Music Unlimited, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora but support for Spotify and SiriusXM are confirmed to be in the works and Amazon also says that it is going to release a developer toolkit that will allow makers of speakers to ensure their devices are compatible with the new functionality.
Also announced by Amazon is a range of new Connected Speaker APIs. These will allow users to control music playback on speakers other than Echo devices but still by using Alexa. Amazon says that it is already working with Sonos, Bose, Sound United, and Samsung in order to roll the new APIs out and they are already available as a developer preview right now. The aforementioned developer toolkit for hardware makers who want to ensure their devices are compatible with multi-room playback will be made available later this year under the somewhat wordy title of Alexa Voice Service (AVS) Multi-Room Music SDK.
Amazon’s Echo devices have made a name for themselves as personal digital assistants that are always listening and are always there to offer information when needed, but it is the devices’ new ability to act as a central hub for home audio needs thanks to new multi-room support that could see Amazon’s Echo family of devices truly come into their own.
To learn more about Alexa Voice Service and its offerings, head on over to developer.amazon.com.
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