Intel weighs into smart home segment with AWS tie-up

Intel and AWS have announced plans to work alongside each other in a number of smart home initiatives including an Intel-based smart speaker which includes that includes the Alexa virtual assistant.

The first project will see Alexa Skills remotely control and coordinate device actions with an Intel-based Smart Home Hub, but the second will be a broader Intel-based smart speaker reference design with Amazon Alexa. The team has said it hopes to help hardware manufacturers accelerate development of voice-enabled devices with the Intel platform and Alexa Voice Services. The reference design will be available to developers and manufacturers during the first quarter of 2017.

“Intel is working with Amazon to deliver smart speaker form factor reference designs (FFRD) with Alexa that make it easier for device manufacturers to build products with high-performance, far-field voice interaction. The first FFRD will be available starting in Q1 2017,” said Ted Karczewski, Content Marketing Manager for the Alexa Voice Service at Amazon.

This isn’t the only IoT announcement made by the Intel team this week, as it has also created a brand new division, the Automated Driving Group, which will specifically look into the development of autonomous vehicles. This supports the $250 million investment its venture capitalist arm will be pumping into the world of IoT as well. Intel is betting big on the future of IoT, and it seems the industry is liking the moves its making as well.

The smart home market is a potentially lucrative one, should vendors be able to remove security concerns from the minds of consumers. Because, let’s be honest, who wants a fridge that tells the world how many beers you have on a nightly basis. According to Markets and Markets, the smart home market is estimated to worth in the region of $121 billion by 2022, leaning on strong demand for lighting, entertainment controls, and home healthcare solutions.

For AWS, this is a good move as well. Bringing Intel into the Alexa AI ecosystem offers an opportunity to piggyback on a cash rich partner and bring its services to more customers. It’s a smart and safe move from AWS which could offer some significant rewards should the Intel IoT bet pay off in the long-run.

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