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Amazon's Alexa is ready to land in your light switches and small toys

The voice assistant soon will only require a low-power chip and 1MB of RAM.

You probably associate Alexa with Amazon's Echo Dot, but it might be coming to smaller devices soon.
Ry Crist/CNET

Amazon's Alexa will start coming in much smaller packages. The voice assistant will now run on devices with as little as 1MB of memory and low-power chips like the Cortex-M processor -- meaning you could find it in lightbulbs and simple toys.

The new Amazon Voice Services integration technology also means it'll be as much as 50% less expensive to make gear with Alexa built in, Amazon Web Services announced Monday.

"With this reduction in production cost, customers can now cost-effectively build new categories of differentiated voice-enabled products such as light switches, thermostats, and small appliances," AWS wrote in a blog post. "This allows consumers to talk directly to Alexa in new parts of their home, office, or hotel rooms for a truly ambient experience."

Read more: Best smart plugs for 2019  

Previously, Alexa functionality required at least 100MB of RAM and an Arm Cortex-A processor.

Dirk Didascalou, vice president of Amazon Web Services for the internet of things, told TechCrunch it cut this down by offloading much of the processing to the cloud. Now devices just need wake word detection.

Didascalou noted that the lower specs allow "ultra dumb" gadgets to run the assistant.

First published at 4:44 a.m. PT.
Updated at 7:44 a.m. PT: Adds quote from AWS blog.

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