Developers are using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) and Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to bring new skills and Alexa-enabled devices to customers in France
Hundreds of skills are available for French customers, including skills from Marmiton, Radio France, Netatmo, Legrand, La Fourchette, Philips Hue, Uber, Domino’s Pizza, TP-Link, and others
Connected device makers including Boulanger, Sowee, Harman Kardon, Sonos, Ultimate Ears, Netgem, Archos, and more are bringing Alexa-enabled devices to customers in France
Luxembourg – 5 June, 2018: Amazon today announced that developers and device-makers across France and around the world are already using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) and the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to create new Alexa experiences for French customers. These skills and Alexa-enabled devices will be available to customers in France starting later this month, alongside the launch of Alexa and Echo in France.
“We want to make it incredibly easy for developers to build with Alexa, and we’re excited to expand our tools to enable developers and device makers to introduce new experiences for French customers,” said Fabrice Rousseau, Director, Alexa Skills, Europe. “Brands throughout France and around the world—including Marmiton, Netatmo, La Fourchette, Sonos, and Boulanger—are already creating Alexa skills and Alexa-enabled devices for French customers. We can’t wait to hear what our customers think.”
Add Capabilities to Alexa Using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK)
The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a collection of free, self-service APIs and tools that make it fast and easy for developers to create skills, or capabilities, for Alexa. With ASK, designers, developers, and brands can build engaging skills and reach millions of customers in the US, UK, Germany, India, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and now France. Developers don’t need to have a background in natural language understanding or speech recognition to build an Alexa skill. From daily news updates, to interactive games, to smart-home integrations, developers from France and all over the world are creating voice-first experiences with Alexa.
Build Skills with Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Whether it’s computing power, database storage, or content delivery, AWS has a wide range of services to help developers build sophisticated applications with increased flexibility, scalability and reliability. The easiest way for Alexa skill developers to connect their skill to the cloud is to use AWS Lambda, an innovative compute service that runs code only when needed and scales automatically, so there is no need to provision or continuously run servers. Developers can also enhance and scale skills using additional AWS offerings such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon CloudFront.
Developer Response—Tens of Thousands of Developers Around the World Building Skills
Developers are using the Alexa Skills Kit to bring skills to customers in France—here’s what they are saying:
Marmiton is bringing its database of more than 60,000 recipes to Alexa with its new skill. “Alexa can be particularly useful in the kitchen, when your hands are full,” said Christophe Duhamel, Founder and CEO at Marmiton. “With the new Marmiton skill you can ask Alexa to read aloud your favorite recipes or even find inspiration to cook based on your favorite ingredients, or even with just what’s already in your fridge.” Say, “Alexa, open Marmiton” to get started.
Radio France has developed a flash briefing skill for Alexa, franceinfo – le flash, enabling customers to get news updates by just asking, “Alexa, what’s in the news?” “Listeners can now get trusted, up-to-date and also thematic news from Radio France by simply asking Alexa,” said Laurent Frisch, Head of digital, CDO at Radio France. “In many ways, Alexa is offering a new opportunity to strengthen the presence of radio into people’s homes and we’re excited to be among the first national news sources to build some Alexa flash briefings.”
Netatmo, the revolutionary smart home company has developed an Alexa skill to let customers in France interact with their Weather Station and its accessories or their Netatmo smart heating solutions. From now on, users can simply ask “Alexa, what’s the temperature in my bedroom?”, “Alexa, raise the temperature in the living room by two degrees” or “Alexa, ask Netatmo what is the temperature outside”. “We’re thrilled that customers can voice-enable their Netatmo products with Alexa,” said Fred Potter, CEO and Founder of Netatmo. “By adding an integration with Amazon Alexa, we provide our existing and new customers with the most advanced smart home devices and systems.”
Legrand, known for its connected objects program, is enabling Alexa voice control for its smart plugs and smart switches with a new skill. After enabling the Legrand skill on a device like Echo or Echo Dot and discovering connected devices, customers can ask Alexa to turn on or off appliances connected to smart plugs, as well as to ask things like, “Alexa, turn on the lights in the living room.” “Alexa will make customers’ Legrand-powered smart homes even smarter, simpler, and more delightful,” said Pierre-Yves Hasbrouck, Innovation Marketing Manager at Legrand. “Voice is a fantastic interface for the connected home, so we are thrilled to see Alexa voice control coming to Legrand customers in France.”
LaFourchette, the leading online restaurant reservation service in Europe, has developed a custom skill for Alexa enabling customers to discover restaurants and book a table by just saying “Alexa, open LaFourchette.” “We’re thrilled that customers can now book the best table fast and entirely via voice by simply asking Alexa,” said Matthieu Bagur, Country Manager France at LaFourchette. “LaFourchette is committed to help customers enjoy the best possible restaurant experience so adding an integration with Amazon Alexa was a natural step.”
Unique Heritage Media, an innovative French children’s books and games publishing group, has developed a custom kid skill for Alexa enabling parents and their children to hear short biopics of famous historical characters by just saying “Alexa, open Quelle Histoire.” “Children can now listen to the famous biographies of Quelle Histoire ("What a Story!") in a fun, innovative way” said Emmanuel Mounier, Founder and President at Unique Heritage Media. “We’re excited to be among the first local publishers to build an Alexa skill.”
Gerwin Software, an indie game studio based in the South of France well known for its mobile hit Superbuzzer or Quiz Panic, has developed a custom skill for Alexa, Wazasound, enabling customers to play a music quiz by just saying “Alexa, open Wazasound. “Single or multiplayer, gamers can now enjoy the thrills of Wazasound in an entirely new and much more immersive way by simply asking Alexa,” said Pierre Germain, Founder and CEO at Gerwin Software. “In many ways, Alexa is opening a world of opportunities for gaming and we’re excited to be among the first local game developers to build an Alexa gaming skill.”
The Philips Hue skill for Alexa is now coming to customers in France. The Hue skill will enable customers to discover connected Philips Hue lighting and then simply ask Alexa to turn their lights on and off, create lighting scenes, change colors room-by-room and more. “Alexa takes Hue-enabled smart homes to the next level,” said Philippe Mineur, Marketing Director of Philips Hue, “So we are delighted that Alexa expands its integration with Philips Hue to our customers in France.”
We invite developers to join the Alexa team at offline events: monthly workshops, Alexa Dev Days (Paris and Lille in July) and online events: monthly webinars and weekly office hours, to learn about building Alexa skills. Developers can get started and register for events at www.alexa.design/frevents.
Alexa Voice Service (AVS): Integrate Alexa into Any Connected Device
The Alexa Voice Service (AVS) enables developers to integrate Alexa directly into their products, bringing the convenience of voice control to any connected device. AVS provides connected device makers with resources to make it easier to build Alexa-enabled devices, including APIs, hardware development kits, software development kits, and documentation. Through AVS, device makers can add a new intelligent interface to their products and offer customers access to a growing number of Alexa features, smart home integrations, and skills. Device makers who want to build Alexa-enabled products with French language capabilities can learn more about the Alexa Voice Service Device SDK at: https://developer.amazon.com/avs/sdk.
Developer Response – Now Even More Devices With Alexa
Developers have already integrated Alexa into a variety of devices including mobile phones, wearables, smart home devices, car accessories, and speakers. Tens of thousands of developers are taking advantage of AVS to voice-enable their products. Connected device makers are already creating voice-driven experiences for customers in France—here’s what those developers are saying:
Using the Alexa Voice Service, Boulanger will bring the new Essential B Virtuoz 401smart speaker to customers in France. “Products from the Boulanger brand, Essential B, simplify the life of our customers. By integrating Alexa within our new speaker, the Essential B Virtuoz 401, we will enable our customers to fully utilize voice services and voice-led smart home experiences.” said Gaële Wuilmet, Chief Customer Officer of Boulanger. “We look forward to helping customers discover even more use cases for voice-led experiences and will launch additional Alexa-enabled devices in the coming months.”
Sonos will add Alexa voice control capabilities to its Sonos One smart speaker for users in France, available via a free software download coming soon. With the Sonos One, the smart speaker for music lovers, users in France can ask Amazon Alexa to control their entire Sonos home sound system with full voice support for Amazon Music, Deezer, Spotify or TuneIn. They can ask for thousands of other things people love about Alexa including timers, news, smart home controls, and more. “We’re excited to bring Alexa on Sonos to customers in France,” said Antoine Leblond, Vice President of Software at Sonos. “With the Sonos One, we took everything people love about Sonos - an agnostic approach with streaming partners, amazing sound quality, flexibility with multi-room or stereo-pairing capability, a thoughtfully designed speaker, and we’ve brought the voice capabilities of Alexa as another means to getting music lovers to the songs and sonic content they love, from podcasts to audiobooks.”
Sowee, the EDF subsidiary dedicated to Smart Home and energy, is adding Alexa control to its Connected Station. Sowee’s customers now have the opportunity, via voice, to pilot their heating, control their energy bill, and access the whole universe of Alexa Voice Service. “We are taking a step further in terms of innovation with the integration of Alexa in our connected Station, which continues to revolutionize the Smart Home market while promoting comfort at home and cost control of energy. We are excited that the new Sowee Connected Station can make customers’ homes even smarter,” said Tiphaine Bougeard General Manager at Sowee. “With the Alexa Voice Service you can just ask to control smart home lighting, heating, appliances and more, as well as access to thousands of Alexa skills.”
Harman Kardon will launch its premium smart speakers, Allure and Allure Portable, in France as well. “We’re excited to integrate with Amazon Alexa to deliver beautiful speakers with astounding audio coupled with all the intelligent features of Alexa to France,” said Michael Mauser, President, Lifestyle Audio Division at HARMAN. “One of the most popular uses for smart speakers is music streaming and Allure and Allure Portable with their premium sound quality, iconic design, and exceptional voice-enabled technology, will produce a spectacular sound experience while delivering on our promise of elevating a connected life through smart technology.”
Ultimate Ears is known for its award-winning, portable wireless speakers with amazing 360-degree sound. Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST, from the brand's new range of smart speakers with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, is integrated with Amazon Alexa. "We believe that MEGABLAST is the best sounding portable smart speaker available today, and with Amazon Alexa built-in, you can now control your music with just your voice. MEGABLAST is waterproof and virtually indestructible, so music lovers can take their music and Alexa anywhere, from living room, garden to the pool," said Charlotte Johs, general manager of Ultimate Ears.
ARCHOS, a pioneer in consumer electronics, will integrate Alexa into its family of personal assistants, Hello. Loïc Poirier, Chief Executive Officer, ARCHOS said, “The addition of the Alexa Voice Service will be a true compliment to the rich visuals featured on our devices, creating a truly immersive experience. Our customers will enjoy using a stylish device, embedded with the latest technologies, and simplified by the power of voice and Amazon Alexa capabilities.”
Netgem, an entertainment software publisher and solutions provider, will introduce a fully integrated audio and video digital solution for the smart home with Alexa. “The Alexa-enabled Soundbox 4K will be the heart of the smart home, enabling customers to use their voice to access some of their favourite audio, video, and connected services,” said Joel Reboul, Netgem France Director. “Whether it is access to a popular TV channel, listening to multi-room audio, or enjoying connected content like Amazon Prime Video or Prime Music, customers in France will soon be able to use the SoundBox 4K to seamlessly access an array of multimedia offers.”
Device makers can learn more about AVS, design best practices, and available development tools on the AVS Developer Portal at: https//developer.amazon.com/avs.
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