Intel unveiled a new development kit aimed at expanding Amazon’s Alexa voice-control capabilities to more third-party smart home devices.

The Intel Speech Enabling Developer Kit is available to order immediately (19 October) and includes an eight-mic circular array and Intel’s dual digital signal processor with an interference engine. The kit also features performance algorithms for acoustic echo cancellation, noise reduction and beamforming along with a custom wake word engine preset to recognise “Alexa”.

“There’s a lot of engineering involved in getting speech recognition at high degrees of speed and accuracy to deliver the best customer experiences,” Miles Kingston, general manager of Intel’s smart home group, said in a statement: “The Intel Speech Enabling Developer Kit is based on a new architecture that delivers high-quality far-field voice even in the most acoustically challenging environments.”

The release of the new kit represents an opportunity for Intel to get its foot in the door in the burgeoning smart home market. According to Parks Associates, smart speakers in particular are driving growth in the smart home market, with a forecast CAGR of 78.3 per cent through 2020. Market research company Global Market Insights estimates the smart speaker market will surpass $13 billion and more than 100 million units shipped by 2024.

So far, Amazon’s Alexa devices are the dominant force in the market. Strategy Analytics recently predicted 68 per cent of connected speakers sold globally in the fourth quarter will use the Alexa platform. By contrast, just 20 per cent are expected to use Google’s Assistant.