Some Alexa-enabled headphones already exist, but Qualcomm wants to make it easier for hardware makers to build Amazon’s assistant into their devices and use Qualcomm chips while doing so. The company released a reference design today that’ll give makers the instructions on how to make an Alexa-enabled device with a button to activate the assistant. Of course, the design incorporates Qualcomm’s Bluetooth audio chips.
Qualcomm’s goal is to make it simpler for creators to build a device without having to think too much about the Alexa code or hardware sourcing. It’s a simple solution that the company hopes will recruit new customers by encouraging them to buy Qualcomm’s Bluetooth chips to get Alexa.
Earlier this year, Amazon released its own “mobile accessory” development kit to help headphone makers build the assistant into their devices. Initial partners included Bose and Jabra, both of which make Alexa-enabled headphones. Digital assistant makers have an incentive to get their assistant into as many devices as possible, so it’s reasonable to expect similar solutions with Google Assistant and Cortana. Apple, on the other hand, is keeping Siri limited to its own line of products.