The opportunity lies not in the individual devices but in creating seamless experiences for homeowners, says Bethesda Systems President Jon Stovall.[Read More]
We are happy to announce that lock control and query capabilities are now also available to developers building skills for the UK.[Read More]
We are excited to announce a new addition to the Smart Home Skill API, the ability to define appliance categories. By defining appliance categories, both you and your customers can easily identify the types of smart home devices with which they are interacting.[Read More]
With the increased popularity of Alexa-compatible smart home devices, we’ve seen a surge in the number of smart home skill submissions. In this post, we’ll highlight key requirements, common issues we’re seeing, and helpful reference material for skills implemented using the Smart Home Skill API.[Read More]
When building skills with the Smart Home Skill API, you may have found it challenging to test and validate your skill's Lambda responses. To help ease these pain points, we’ve built the Alexa Smart Home Skill API Validation Package, available now to all smart home-skill developers.[Read More]
We are happy to announce tunable lighting control, a new feature in the Smart Home Skill API now available in the US with support for the UK and Germany coming soon. This is great news for those of you targeting color-changing lights or tunable white lights.[Read More]
Today we are happy to announce lock control and query, a new feature in the Smart Home Skill API now available in the US, with support for the UK and Germany coming soon. This feature is supported with locks from August, Yale, Kwikset, and Schlage as well as hub support from SmartThings and Wink. Now any developer targeting devices with locking behavior can enable customers to issue a voice command such as, “Alexa, lock the front door.” In addition, developers can build in support for customers asking for the status of a smart locking device with a voice command such as, “Alexa, is the front door locked?”
Much like the recently announced thermostat query feature, the lock query feature simplifies development efforts by enabling specific voice interactive experiences straight from the Smart Home Skill API. This is accomplished under the new Alexa.ConnectedHome.Query namespace.
Developers can report errors using the same namespace. These errors are then used to guide the customer with the proper corrective actions. It’s crucial that developers return meaningful and correct errors so that customers can feel confident about the status of their locks. For example, if the smart locking device is unable to provide a stateful value because a door is open, developers should report this in their directive response as shown below.[Read More]
Today we are happy to announce support for thermostat query, a new feature for Alexa skills developed using the Smart Home Skill API. The feature is now available in the US, with support for the UK and Germany coming soon. With thermostat query, customers can issue a voice command to an Alexa-enabled device, such as the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, and hear Alexa say the response. For example, a customer with a single thermostat could say, “Alexa, what is the temperature in the house?” and Alexa would respond with the current inside temperature. This complements thermostat commands that already allow customers to set the temperature value.
This new feature simplifies development efforts by enabling specific voice interactive experiences straight from the Smart Home Skill API. In the past, smart home skill developers had to create two skills (one for smart home, the other for custom voice interactions to allow querying data) to provide this overall experience.