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September 25, 2019Quentin Robinson
We’re excited to announce the general availability of simple setup for Wi-Fi and Zigbee devices, and a preview of simple setup for Bluetooth devices coming soon. With simple setup, you can enable customers to securely connect your devices to their home networks simply by plugging them in. As a result, your customers can take advantage of your products more quickly - and you can reduce customer frustration, service call-in rates, and product returns. With today’s announcement of simple setup and last month’s announcement of app-to-app account linking, we invite you to join us on the next steps of the Frustration-Free Setup initiative we announced last year.
Customers can choose to enable simple setup during check-out when they purchase one of your devices from Amazon.com. If a customer enables simple setup, we automatically associate a unique ID for your device with the customer’s account. When your device is plugged in and attempts to connect to a customer’s network, simple setup confirms whether the customer purchased your device and provided the permissions necessary for simple setup. Once this is confirmed, simple setup securely transfers any required credentials, and your device and other devices on the customer’s network can complete any local steps required for connection. The specific steps vary based on whether your device uses Wi-Fi, Zigbee, or Bluetooth.
Wi-Fi simple setup requires that the customer previously stored their Wi-Fi credentials on Amazon, that the customer has linked their account with your service to their Amazon account, and that the customer’s network includes a simple setup provisioner, such as an Amazon Echo or Fire TV device. When powered on, your device looks for a provisioner, and if found, establishes a secure connection through the provisioner to the Amazon device setup service in the cloud. We’ll confirm customer ownership of your device, the required enablement, and then return the customer’s Wi-Fi credentials (encrypted). Once you decrypt these credentials on your device, you can use them to connect to the customer’s Wi-Fi network. In our testing with early adopters, most completed the process in under a minute.
David Li, CEO of TP-Link Kasa has already enabled Wi-Fi simple setup for their HS105. “We’ve worked hard to make the setup experience as simple as possible from the very beginning. Adding Wi-Fi simple setup from Amazon, we’ve been able to take our straightforward onboarding process and turn it into a truly magical experience. From our development team’s perspective, integrating the Wi-Fi simple setup SDK was quick and easy, making deciding to add FFS all the more obvious.”
Zigbee simple setup allows you to connect to the Zigbee hub built into Echo Plus and Echo Show using a similar approach. While we do not use Wi-Fi credentials, we still authenticate and authorize your device via the setup service backend before sending local Zigbee or Bluetooth install codes from the provisioner device. Echo Plus and Echo Show can automatically discover and enable Alexa use of Zigbee devices with simple setup, without even requiring the customer to say, “Alexa, discover my devices.”
To integrate simple setup, you’ll need to take several steps:
First, you’ll integrate simple setup functions into your device firmware using the simple setup SDK. Then test your firmware and devices, and submit them for certification in the developer console. Add app-to-app account linking to your mobile applications if not already present, and ensure that the barcodes on your packaging meet the simple setup specification. The barcode lets us associate your specific device with the customer that purchased it, a critical step in the simple setup process.
If you’re using the Alexa Connect Kit (ACK), many of these steps are done for you. ACK devices use an Amazon certified chipset, a backend that is simple setup ready, and tools to create and manage barcodes. You can review the entire process for Wi-Fi and Zigbee devices in our documentation. You can access the Bluetooth simple setup developer preview by heading over to the Frustration-Free Setup developer console and signing up here.
Since announcing the Frustration-Free Setup initiative last year, we’ve included simple setup in multiple Amazon devices. We’ve seen higher customer satisfaction, including a 4.5 star rating on the Amazon smart plug. With simple setup, you can accelerate customer use of your devices and reduce frustration, service calls, and returns.
To get started, head over to http://developer.amazon.com/frustration-free-setup and sign up for the Bluetooth simple setup developer preview here.