Amazon is spreading the Alexa love. The voice service is now available on the Triby. This small, family-focused message board, internet radio and VoIP device is the first device available for purchase not made by Amazon to feature the company’s clever voice service.
Using the Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS), Invoxia, the maker behind the Triby, built the voice capability into the device. Now with Alexa, the Triby is an even better kitchen device allowing owners to tell it to set timers, play music or read sports scores. It’s a lot like an Amazon Echo, but one that can stick to the front of a fridge.
The $199 Triby launched in late 2015 and I’ve grown to love the little guy. It’s designed to be a modern kitchen appliance with buttons dedicated to VoIP calling and internet radio stations. Want to listen to NPR while you’re making coffee? The Triby makes it easy and now with Alexa, it can do much more.
Like its Amazon counterparts, the Triby listens for a wake word like “Alexa” or “Amazon” and then can accept and process voice commands such as “Alexa, play some ’80s music” or “Alexa, what’s the weather next Tuesday” or “Alexa, turn off the lights.” According to Invoxia, the Triby can capture voice commands up to 15 feet away.
Adding Alexa to 3rd party devices has been over a year in the making. The Amazon Voice Service was announced in the summer of 2015 and the company just announced new features and capabilities to the kit last month. With AVS, Amazon is allowing developers to build Alexa into their own hardware. One of the debut launch partners for AVS was Scout, which said it would build Alexa into its own home security system. Another is the Y Combinator grad Toymail, which reimagines the mobile phone for kids by housing messaging features in a cuddly toy. Ford also announced it was exploring putting Alexa into its cars.
Chances are many more devices will follow the Triby’s lead and gain Alexa’s capabilities. Amazon built something special with the Alexa and setting it free with AWS could lead to the next blockbuster gadget ecosystem.