AMA Kit FAQs

This page contains FAQs for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who are considering integrating Alexa with their Bluetooth-enabled devices.

OEM FAQs

Q: What is the Alexa Mobile Accessory (AMA) Kit?
The AMA Kit is a set of services that enable partners to easily connect their Bluetooth-enabled devices with Amazon Alexa using the Alexa app on Android or iOS devices. After integration, a Bluetooth-enabled device will connect to the Alexa service via the Alexa app on users’ mobile devices. Device makers no longer need to integrate with Alexa Voice Service (AVS) or to add any communication hardware beyond Bluetooth, which reduces cost and accelerates time to market. At a high level, the AMA Kit enables sending speech from the Bluetooth-enabled device to the Alexa service and a control service for exchanging control messages between the Bluetooth-enabled device and the Alexa app.
Q: What are the differences between using the AMA Kit versus the AVS Device SDK in-app?
The AMA Kit has multiple advantages for implementation and customer experience:
  • Using the AMA Kit reduces Alexa implementation time and effort for your engineering team.
  • Amazon regularly updates the Alexa app with the latest features, eliminating the need for you to do that work.
  • The AMA Kit reduces latency of voice recognition for your customers.
  • Audio streams are cleanly ducked when customers are talking to Alexa.
  • The AMA Kit ensures that your device has access to Alexa even if the app is in the background.
Q: What do I need to get started with the AMA Kit?
Amazon provides device manufacturers with an AMA Kit with the following contents:
  • Protocol specifications.
  • Protobuf definition files.
  • Mobile development apps for iOS and Android to help develop and debug your accessory.
Q: What are the minimum hardware requirements for my Bluetooth accessory to use the AMA Kit?
Choose hardware that meets the AMA Functional requirements. If your accessory uses Bluetooth LE transport, it must support OPUS. Optionally, if your accessory only has a Push-to-talk capability and supports MFi, the accessory can use mSBC to encode data and send data over Bluetooth Classic.
Q: What do I need to do to enable my accessory to work with Alexa?
To enable your Bluetooth accessory to work with Alexa, follow these basic steps:
  1. Register your Bluetooth accessory with Amazon through the Amazon Developer Portal.
  2. Implement the AMA Kit in your Bluetooth accessory.
Q: How does wake word detection work for my headset accessory?
Your customers have two options to invoke Alexa; they can either say a wake word, or push a button on your headset (push-to-talk). If you choose to implement wake word detection, you will need to implement wake word verification on your Bluetooth device, which needs to work with Alexa's cloud-based wake word verification.
Q: What are my accessory's requirements for Cloud-based Wake Word Verification (CBWWV)?
The AMA requirements for CBWWV are the same as those used by AVS. See Enable Cloud-Based Wake Word Verification.
Q: I have a companion app for my product. Will my app be involved in any way for setting up of Alexa?
See the AMA Kit Functional Requirements and AMA Kit Setup Flow for a breakdown of which responsibilities are handled by an accessory's companion app vs. the Alexa app.
Q: I would like my customers to use my mobile application. Can I integrate the AMA Kit into my mobile application?
No. The AMA Kit is designed to simplify integration with Alexa by offloading the heavy lifting of communicating with Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to the Alexa app. Partners that need more flexibility can integrate AVS directly into their app.
Q: What, if anything, should my accessory do in multi-turn situations? For example, what if a user presses a button on my accessory to initiate an Alexa interaction, but then Alexa asks clarifying questions, receives a user response, and then Alexa speaks again?
The user should not need to interact directly with your accessory to carry on a conversation with Alexa; the user should not need to press the button (or any other buttons) after the initial button press. Note that when requested by the app via Provide_Speech, the microphone will have to be re-enabled to accept customer speech. See AMA Kit Functional Requirements for details on requirements for multi-turn interactions.
Q: If audio streaming is in progress, does my accessory device or does the Alexa mobile app responsible for muting/unmuting the audio streaming when the user initiates an Alexa interaction? Is the Alexa app able to mute/unmute audio on the accessory?
The Alexa mobile app is responsible for muting/unmuting any currently playing audio when the user initiates an Alexa interaction. The app is also responsible for any subsequent Text-to-Speech (TTS) interaction.
Q: What user data will I have access to for my Bluetooth Accessory?
Amazon will provide aggregated data on the Dashboard tab of My Accessory Portal. Metrics will include: daily active users, accessory uptime, memory/battery usage, and number of Alexa invocations.
Q: Will the Alexa app know if my hardware needs a firmware update to be compatible with Alexa?
Yes, during the first-time setup or linking a new connection, the Alexa app’s AMA Kit will check for firmware version. If the accessory requires a firmware update, the Alexa app will inform the customer and guide them to your app or website.

Bluetooth Accessory Customer FAQs

Q: How do I enable Alexa on my Bluetooth Audio accessory?
To enable Alexa on your Bluetooth accessory:
  1. log into the Alexa app on your mobile device and accept Terms of Use.

    If you don’t already the Alexa app, download it from the Apple App store on iOS or from Google Play store on Android, and sign in with your Amazon credentials.

  2. Power on your accessory, and make sure Bluetooth is enabled on both your accessory and your mobile device.
  3. Navigate to the Device Channel in the Alexa App, tap Set up a New Device, select the correct Bluetooth accessory from the list of devices, and follow the step-by-step instructions. This is a one-time activity and, once paired, every time that your accessory is powered on and in range of your phone, you will be able to use Alexa on your accessory.
  4. Upon successful pairing, the Alexa app will provide confirmation that your accessory is ready to access Alexa.
Q: How do I invoke Alexa from my Bluetooth Audio accessory?
Some accessories allow you to invoke Alexa by simply speaking the wake word “Alexa”, while others may require you to tap a button to invoke Alexa. Some accessories will provide both methods of invoking Alexa.
Q: Do I need to have the Alexa app open and in the foreground when using my accessory?
No, you will not need the Alexa app open once you have linked Alexa to your accessory. For Android, the Alexa app will always run in the background if you have enabled this option; for iOS, the app will run when there is active communication between your accessory and phone.
Q: What type of Alexa-compatible Bluetooth Audio accessories can I buy?
Alexa is available on Bluetooth-enabled audio accessories such as Bluetooth speakers and headphones, with other device types on the way.
Q: Can I disable Alexa on my Bluetooth Accessory?
Powering down the accessory or turning Bluetooth off temporarily disables the connection. To permanently unlink your accessory with your phone, go through the Settings of the Alexa app.
Q: Can I use my Bluetooth accessory with my tablet?
Yes, in addition to phones, you can use your accessory with Android and iOS tablets.