Alexa.TimeHoldController Interface

Implement the Alexa.TimeHoldController capability interface so that users can pause a variety of appliances. For example, you can pause a microwave while it is cooking. For more information about cooking skills, see Build Smart Home Skills for Cooking Appliances.

For the list of locales that are supported for the TimeHoldController interface, see List of Capability Interfaces and Supported Locales.

Utterances

When you use the Alexa.TimeHoldController interface, the voice interaction model is already built for you. The following examples show some customer utterances:

Alexa, pause the microwave.
Alexa, hold the sous vide.
Alexa, restart the microwave.

After the customer says one of these utterances, Alexa sends a corresponding directive to your skill.

Properties

The Alexa.TimeHoldController interface uses the holdStartTime and holdEndTime properties as the primary properties. The properties are specified in UTC, and are strings in ISO 8601 format, YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssZ.

Discovery

You describe endpoints that support Alexa.TimeHoldController using the standard discovery mechanism described in Alexa.Discovery.

Set retrievable to true for the properties that you report when Alexa sends your skill a state report request. Set proactivelyReported to true for the properties that you proactively report to Alexa in a change report.

For the full list of display categories, see display categories.

In addition to the usual discovery response fields, for TimeHoldController, include a configuration field that contains the following fields.

Field Description Type
allowRemoteResume True if Alexa can restart the operation on the device. When false, Alexa does not send the Resume directive. Instead, Alexa prompts the user to push start on the device. Boolean

Discover response example

The following example shows a Discover.Response message for a microwave endpoint that supports the Alexa.TimeHoldController.

{
  "event": {
    "header": {
      "namespace": "Alexa.Discovery",
      "name": "Discover.Response",
      "payloadVersion": "3",
      "messageId": "<message id>"
    },
    "payload": {
      "endpoints":[
        {
          "endpointId": "<unique ID of the endpoint>",
          "manufacturerName": "<the manufacturer name of the endpoint>",
          "description": "<a description that is shown in the Alexa app>",
          "friendlyName": "Microwave",
          "displayCategories": ["MICROWAVE"],
          "cookie": {},
          "capabilities": [
            {
              "type": "AlexaInterface",
              "interface": "Alexa.TimeHoldController",
              "version": "3",
              "properties": {
                "supported": [
                  {
                    "name": "holdStartTime"
                  },
                  {
                    "name": "holdEndTime"
                  }
                ],
                "proactivelyReported": true,
                "retrievable": true
              },
              "configuration": {
                  "allowRemoteResume": true
              }
            },
            {
              "type": "AlexaInterface",
              "interface": "Alexa",
              "version": "3"
            }
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
  }
}

Directives

Hold directive

Support the Hold directive so that customers can pause an action that a device is doing.

The following example shows a customer utterance:

Alexa, pause the microwave.

Hold directive example

The following example shows a Hold directive.

{
  "directive": {
    "header": {
      "namespace": "Alexa.TimeHoldController",
      "name": "Hold",
      "messageId": "<message id>",
      "correlationToken": "<an opaque correlation token>",
      "payloadVersion": "3"
    },
    "endpoint": {
      "scope": {
        "type": "BearerToken",
        "token": "<an OAuth2 bearer token>"
      },
      "endpointId": "<endpoint id>",
      "cookie": {}
    },
    "payload": {}
  }
}

Hold response event

If you handle a Hold directive successfully, respond with an Alexa.Response event. In the context object, include the values of all relevant properties.

Hold response event example

The following example shows a response to a Hold directive.

{
  "event": {
    "header": {
      "namespace": "Alexa",
      "name": "Response",
      "messageId": "<message id>",
      "correlationToken": "<an opaque correlation token>",
      "payloadVersion": "3"
    },
    "endpoint": {
      "endpointId": "<endpoint id>"
    },
    "payload": {}
  },
  "context": {
    "properties": [
      {
         "namespace": "Alexa.TimeHoldController",
         "name": "holdStartTime",
         "value": "2018-05-31T14:00Z",
         "timeOfSample": "2018-08-31T23:30:00Z",
         "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 0
      },
      {
         "namespace": "Alexa.TimeHoldController",
         "name": "holdEndTime",
         "value": "2018-05-31T14:30Z",
         "timeOfSample": "2018-08-31T23:30:00Z",
         "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 0
      }
    ]
  }
}

Hold directive error handling

If you can't handle a Hold directive successfully, respond with an Alexa.ErrorResponse event. If your device supports cooking, you can also respond with an Alexa.Cooking.ErrorResponse event when appropriate.

Resume directive

Support the Resume directive so that customers can restart an action that a device is doing.

The following example shows a customer utterance:

Alexa, restart the microwave.

Resume directive example

The following example shows a Resume directive. The payload for the Resume directive is empty.

{
  "directive": {
    "header": {
      "namespace": "Alexa.TimeHoldController",
      "name": "Resume",
      "messageId": "<message id>",
      "correlationToken": "<an opaque correlation token>",
      "payloadVersion": "3"
    },
    "endpoint": {
      "scope": {
        "type": "BearerToken",
        "token": "<an OAuth2 bearer token>"
      },
      "endpointId": "<endpoint id>",
      "cookie": {}
    },
    "payload": {}
  }
}

Resume response event

If you handle a Resume directive successfully, respond with an Alexa.Response event. In the context object, include the values of all relevant properties.

Resume response event example

The following example shows a response to a Resume directive.

{
  "event": {
    "header": {
      "namespace": "Alexa",
      "name": "Response",
      "messageId": "<message id>",
      "correlationToken": "<an opaque correlation token>",
      "payloadVersion": "3"
    },
    "endpoint": {
      "endpointId": "<endpoint id>"
    },
    "payload": {}
  },
  "context": {}
}

Resume directive error handling

If you can't handle a Resume directive successfully, respond with an Alexa.ErrorResponse event. If your device supports cooking, you can also respond with an Alexa.Cooking.ErrorResponse event when appropriate.

State reporting

Alexa sends a ReportState directive to request information about the state of an endpoint. When Alexa sends a ReportState directive, you send a StateReport event in response. The response contains the current state of all retrievable properties in the context object. You identify your retrievable properties in your discovery response. For more information about state reports, see Understand State Reporting.

StateReport response event example

{
  "event": {
    "header": {
      "namespace": "Alexa",
      "name": "StateReport",
      "messageId": "<message id>",
      "correlationToken": "<an opaque correlation token>",
      "payloadVersion": "3"
    },
    "endpoint": {
      "endpointId": "<endpoint id>"
    },
    "payload": {}
  },
  "context": {
    "properties": [
      {
         "namespace": "Alexa.TimeHoldController",
         "name": "holdStartTime",
         "value": "2018-05-31T14:00Z",
         "timeOfSample": "2018-08-31T23:30:00Z",
         "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 0
      },
      {
         "namespace": "Alexa.TimeHoldController",
         "name": "holdEndTime",
         "value": "2018-05-31T14:30Z",
         "timeOfSample": "2018-08-31T23:30:00Z",
         "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 0
      }
    ]
  }
}

Change reporting

You send a ChangeReport event to proactively report changes in the state of an endpoint. You identify the properties that you proactively report in your discovery response. For more information about change reports, see Understand State Reporting.

ChangeReport event example

{  
  "event": {
    "header": {
      "namespace": "Alexa",
      "name": "ChangeReport",
      "messageId": "<message id>",
      "payloadVersion": "3"
    },
    "endpoint": {
      "scope": {
        "type": "BearerToken",
        "token": "<an OAuth2 bearer token>"
      },
      "endpointId": "<endpoint id>"
    },
    "payload": {
      "change": {
        "cause": {
          "type": "PERIODIC_POLL"
        },
        "properties": [
          {
             "namespace": "Alexa.TimeHoldController",
             "name": "holdStartTime",
             "value": "2018-05-31T14:00Z",
             "timeOfSample": "2018-08-31T23:30:00Z",
             "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 0
          },
          {
             "namespace": "Alexa.TimeHoldController",
             "name": "holdEndTime",
             "value": "2018-05-31T14:30Z",
             "timeOfSample": "2018-08-31T23:30:00Z",
             "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 0
          }
        ]
      }
    }
  },
  "context": {}
}