Anki has announced that Amazon Alexa support will officially be coming to Vector on Monday, Dec. 17, just in time for the holidays. While the company announced the upcoming Alexa support last month, no release date was given at that time. The Alexa integration will be opt-in, so users who want to use this feature will have to specifically link Vector up with Alexa, but after doing so they will be able to issue commands to Vector using the standard “Alexa” prefix, allowing the little robot to provide access to the expanding collection of Alexa skills, which coincidentally will also include Apple Music starting on the same day that Vector joins the Alexa family. Anki has also published a video demonstrating the new Alexa support in action.
In addition to the Alexa integration, the Vector update will also introduce new animations and more interactive experiences, including appropriately enthusiastic responses when you wish Vector happy holidays, along with new voice commands for adjusting volume and controlling Vector’s direction, and the ability to detect a person’s hands and roll up to them like a pet looking for affection. Anki has also annoucnced that the Vector SDK has been publicly released in alpha status, allowing developers to build Python apps that can access Vector’s hardware and software technologies, such as the camera, infrared laser scanner, face and emotion recognition, and high-res color IPS screen, and more to create custom applications that will enhance the Vector experience.