What is the Alexa Voice Service?

If you're creating connected products with Alexa built-in, Amazon offers software and hardware solutions. Which technology path should you choose? That depends on what you want the end-customer experience to be like. This page should point you toward the right Alexa integration process. Then, use our docs throughout your development journey for product requirements, reference documentation, and developer guides.


While the Alexa service powers Amazon Echo devices, AVS brings that service to commercial device makers. Original engineering manufacturers (OEM), original design manufacturers (ODM), and systems integrators (SI) use AVS to build Alexa into smart speakers, headphones, PCs, TVs, vehicles, and smart home products.

Alexa Voice Service (AVS)— The cloud-based service that allows device makers to integrate an ever-increasing set of Alexa features and functions into a connected product. Amazon's AVS team assists device makers with the Alexa integration process.

Alexa Built-in Product (ABI)— A category of AVS devices with a wake word-enabled microphone array, speaker, and a core set of Alexa features and functions. These products follow the Alexa Built-in Badging Program requirements.

The AVS Device SDK— C++-based libraries that leverage the AVS APIs. We recommend that many Alexa Built-in products use the AVS Device SDK to quickly integrate almost all Alexa features and functions. It's modular and abstracted, providing components that expose our APIs, which you can use and customize.

The Alexa APIs— The AVS interfaces that correspond to client-functionality. Each interface contains logically grouped messages called directives (from the cloud), and events (from your client). AVS also provides APIs for implementation steps like authorization and HTTP/2.

What Alexa experience do customers expect?

A seamless Alexa integration makes it easy for customers to interact with your product. Before you kick off design and development, consider the following questions.

Where will customers use your product? Does this device add Alexa to their home, office, hotel room, vehicle, or will they take it on the go? What kind of power source will it need? Will it access the AVS cloud through a dedicated WiFi connection, or rely on Bluetooth and a mobile companion app?

How will customers interact with your product? Can they talk to it directly, or will it pair with other Alexa built-in devices? How far should they be from the device? How will they initiate an interaction? Will it have a screen?

What can customers do with your product? Consider whether your device will support each of these common use cases:

Once you answer questions like these, you can determine the best approach to integrate Alexa into your device. To get started, pick a technology path below.

Which Alexa technology path is right for you?

There are multiple ways to create an Alexa built-in product that leverages the Alexa Voice Service. This section relates four common product types to a suggested integration process, but each emerging product vertical has even more potential solutions. For guidance, Contact Us.

Speakers, soundbars, and AVRs

Give customers a hands-free voice experience. Start with the AVS Device SDK for core Alexa features like alerts, notifications, and Alexa Skills. Add the extension for Multi-room Music.

Build an Alexa Built-in Speaker, Soundbar, or AVR

Smart screens, TVs, and set-top boxes

Add rich interactive visuals to the Alexa voice experience by building ambient screens, smart displays, tablets, and televisions. Get the new AVS Device SDK for macOS or Linux.

Learn about the AVS Device SDK

Smart Home and Device Templates

Connect virtually any type of device to Alexa using the Smart Home Skill API. To get started, review the Device Templates for Alexa. These templates provide guidance on which Alexa capabilities to implement for your device type.

Get Started with Device Templates

Alexa Mobile Accessories (AMA)

With the AMA Kit, Bluetooth devices like headphones, speakers, and wearable audio devices can provide full voice interactions with Alexa. By using the AMA kit, your Bluetooth-capable device can become an Alexa endpoint by connecting directly with the Amazon Alexa App on a mobile device.

Build an Alexa Mobile Accessory

How can Amazon help?

Amazon's AVS team assists device makers with integrating Alexa into their connected products. If your product is intended for commercial release, you may be engaged with an Amazon Business Development representative. We've consulted with commercial device manufacturers through concept definition, design review, integration, feature development, testing and certification, marketing, launch, and post-launch. We're always learning and building new voice-forward methodologies and technologies to enable our partners and to improve the Alexa experience across all devices. As we learn, we make the following resources available to you.

Hardware development kits

Want to start with qualified chipsets, voice processing technologies, and built-in client software? AVS works with partners who develop reference solutions that reduce your costs and accelerate the integration process.

Shop Hardware Development Kits

Systems Integrators (SIs)

Want to leverage pre-built, pre-certified components? Amazon's SI partners provide hardware modules, software, and services that accelerate the implementation, delivery, and support of your device.

Explore System Integrators

Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs)

Looking for a faster path to market? Amazon's qualified ODM partners offer turnkey solutions and streamlined processes for designing, testing, and manufacturing devices with Alexa built-in.

Find an Original Design Manufacturer

Developer documentation, tools, and resources

The AVS team continuously releases new Alexa features to developers through the use of our APIs, SDKs, software extensions, and hardware reference kits. For each release, we update our docs and resources to make it as easy as possible for you to implement each new technology.

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Find out about new feature updates, documentation changes, international expansion opportunities, and new developer guides. You'll receive regular emails with actionable information.

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Last updated: Nov 27, 2023