Amazon launches Alexa Accelerator

Beasts of Balance developer Sensible Object among nine firms exploring possibilities for voice-controlled experiences

By James Batchelor.Published Monday 17th July 2017, 4:00pm GMT

Amazon has launched a new accelerator program that will see selected start-ups and entrepreneurs creating new experiences for Alexa, its digital assistant.

While the initiative is aimed at multiple sectors, video games and interactive experiences are clearly a key pillar judging by the inclusion of Sensible Object. The UK-based developer, best known for the toys-based mobile and board game hybrid Beasts of Balance, is one of nine companies selected for the inaugural program.

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The accelerator will run for 13 weeks, offering the selected companies mentoring, training on how to use Alexa and collaboration with the experts at Amazon. The prototypes created will be shown off at a special demo day in Seattle this October, where firms will present their potential product to potential investors.

Sensible Object says it plans to "develop new game concepts that illustrate the potential of voice artificial intelligence to augment the play experience."

"We will be integrating Alexa to create novel twists on familiar play experiences, and our hybrid physical/digital model means we can rapidly turn that development effort into sales revenue," said CEO Alex Fleetwood. "It's the next step in our vision to build the play platform for the connected home."

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The program is part of Amazon's $100m Alexa Fund, which explores the potential for innovation in voice technology.

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