Editor’s Note: On May 16, 2018, we announced a developer preview that allowed developers to use eight Amazon Polly US English voices in their Alexa skills. As of August 29, 2018, we have expanded the preview to include 27 Amazon Polly voices that cover all locales supported by Alexa.
Earlier this year we announced a developer preview that allowed you to use eight Amazon Polly US English voices in your skills. Today, we have expanded the preview to include 27 Amazon Polly voices that you can use in all locales supported by Alexa. Use these voices to enrich your skill’s experience, making it more engaging for customers. For example, you can give a different voice to each character in adventure stories and games. Take this survey to apply to participate in the developer preview.
What Is Amazon Polly?
Amazon Polly is a service that turns text into lifelike speech, allowing you to create applications that talk, and build entirely new categories of speech-enabled products. Amazon Polly is a text-to-speech service that uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesize speech that sounds like a human voice. Visit the Amazon Polly product page for more information.
Choosing Different Voices in Your Skills
If you already use multiple voices in your skill via .mp3 files or another technique, consider Amazon Polly for its natural-sounding voices and ease of maintenance. If your skill uses only a single voice today, changing the voice or adding different voices in the right places may allow you to provide an even more engaging experience. With Amazon Polly, you can choose a different voice for any utterance by using the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) and specifying an Amazon Polly voice using the “voice name” tag and the “lang” tag (if you need a language other than the default language for the skill). You can even use an Amazon Polly voice for every utterance in your skill.
Using Amazon Polly Voices to Make Your Skills More Engaging
Many developers in the US are already taking advantage of Amazon Polly voices, including Kids Court, which recently won the Alexa Skills Challenge: Kids.
“The variety of Amazon Polly voices lets developers craft a more accurate personality for their skill, while still being able to create dynamic content and being fully flexible when editing their speech,” said Adva Levin, the creator of Kids Court. “Using Polly voices in Kids Court made it possible for me to introduce a new character to the game and made it more rich and engaging for users.”
Apply for the Expanded Developer Preview Today
If you have an idea for using Amazon Polly voices in your skill, tell us about it via this survey. We’ll select a subset of the skills that apply, and will provide more information to those selected. Even if you are not selected for the preview, we’ll let you know when more information about using Amazon Polly voices in Alexa skills is available.