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Amazon’s new developer kit will let third-party developers create new ‘ambient’ automations in connection with Alexa. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

When you leave home and arm your security system, shouldn’t your robot vacuum know, without being told, that it’s time to get to work?

Amazon thinks so. That’s one of the scenarios given by the company Wednesday morning in the announcement of its new Alexa Ambient Home Dev Kit. The kit provides technologies for developers of third-party devices and services to create more seamless connections to Amazon’s devices and voice assistant.

The company wants to encourage the development of ambient smart home technology, in which devices and services take their cues from what’s happening around them, not from explicit user instructions in the moment.

“While we absolutely believe in the power of a voice interface, we also believe in a future ambient home that lets you speak to Alexa less,” said Dave Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president of devices and services, in a presentation Wednesday morning at Amazon’s virtual Alexa Live developers conference.

Limp said the new dev kit is also an acknowledgement that many different companies will provide key smart home technologies over the long term, and it’s important for technologies from different vendors to work together.

It’s part of a broader effort by the company to counteract slower growth in the smart speaker market over the past couple of years. Amazon still leads the market, followed by Google. Amazon and others are hoping that greater ease-of-use and automation of smart home technologies will open the doors to a larger audience.

In addition to the new developer kit, Amazon is announcing additional support for devices using the Matter interoperability standard endorsed by Amazon, Apple and Google. Building on prior announcements, Amazon latest moves focus on streamlined setup of Matter devices, and connections to Matter devices over WiFi.

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