Echo Show, Amazon’s new device that brings you everything you love about Alexa, is now shipping to customers in the US. Customers just ask and they can see photos, watch videos, review lists, and much more. While your skills will work out of the box, we know that many of you want to augment existing skills by creating unique visual experiences for Echo Show.
New Features in the Alexa Skills Kit
Today, we released updates to the Alexa Skills Kit that make it easy for you to optimize skills for the display and video interfaces on Echo Show. When you build a skill, you can now choose from several display templates that enable enhanced visual capabilities, including video streaming. These templates are designed using best practices and cover common scenarios such as displaying items in a list and selecting a particular item, both with your voice and touch. Check out our technical tutorial to get started.
You can also stream videos using the new video app interfaces in the Alexa Skills Kit. You simply provide access to your video content and the video interface will render video on the device, allowing customers to control the playback using both voice and touch. Read our tech docs to learn more. Last week, we announced that you can use the Smart Home Skill API to enable customers to view live video feeds from their smart home cameras on Echo Show.
Alexa Skills on Echo Show
All Alexa skills will automatically be available on Echo Show. Skills will display any skill cards you currently return in your response objects. This is very similar to how customers see your Alexa skill cards on the Alexa app, Fire TV, and Fire Tablet devices today. If no skill card is available, a default template shows the skill icon and skill name. It’s easy to see how your skill will look using the Echo Show Renderer, a new tool in the Alexa skill creation flow that simulates your skill cards on Echo Show.
Learn to Build for Voice and Touch with the Amazon Alexa Voice Design Guide
Echo Show’s high-quality screen combines with Alexa skills to deliver a completely new way for customers to interact across voice and graphical user interfaces. We updated the Amazon Alexa Voice Design Guide with new design best practices and guidelines to teach you how to build compelling experiences across voice and graphical user interfaces. This includes using imagery, video, and formatted text in the new Echo Show visual templates. Visit the guide.
Build a Skill, Get an Echo Dot
Developers have built more than 15,000 skills with the Alexa Skills Kit. Explore the stories behind some of these innovations, then start building your own skill. If you’re serious about getting into building voice UIs, we’d like to help you explore. If you publish a skill in June, we’ll send you an Echo Dot so you can experiment and daydream.