ACK Device Features

The Alexa Connect Kit (ACK) offers many different features that affect users' interaction with your device. Some of these features are required, meaning that in order to pass certification, you must include them in your product design. Other features are optional add-ons to enhance your product.

Required and optional features

To meet your users' needs, product features must be integrated with the ACK Device SDK. The following table summarizes required and optional ACK device features.

Feature Required

Frustration-Free Setup (FFS)

Yes

Over-the-air updates (OTA)

Yes

    Auto Discovery

No

    Wi-Fi Simple Reconnect (WSR)

No

ACK Analytics Service

No

Dash Replenishment Service (DRS)

No

Alexa smart home energy

No

Frustration-Free Setup (FFS)

ACK-based products use Amazon Frustration-Free Setup (FFS) to connect devices to a Wi-Fi network and register them with Alexa.

By implementing FFS on your device, you can use the same Alexa setup and authentication technology that Amazon uses for its own devices. You don't have to create a separate companion app to guide users through setup. Users benefit by not having to switch between different apps during the setup process.

Your ACK-based device has the following three setup modes. For details, see User-Initiated Triggers.

  • Zero-touch setup (ZTS) – Requires no user interaction. FFS automatically configures and registers the device with Alexa when the user powers on the device for the first time.
  • Barcode setup (BCS) – The user sets up the device by scanning an on-device barcode with the Alexa app.
  • User-guided setup (UGS) – The user sets up the device by following instructions in the Alexa app.

Auto discovery is an FFS feature that automatically detects unregistered ACK-based devices and further simplifies their setup in the Alexa app.

With auto discovery enabled, a user plugs in their device and opens the Alexa app on their phone. The app displays a card that connects the user directly to the device setup page. This feature allows users to skip many of the usual intermediate device setup steps. For details, contact your ACK representative.

Wi-Fi Simple Reconnect (WSR)

Wi-Fi Simple Reconnect (WSR) is an FFS feature that helps ACK-based devices reconnect to a network automatically when a password or network name changes.

When an ACK-based device loses connectivity, a nearby connected device, such the Alexa app or an Echo, refreshes the device's security credentials to restore the Wi-Fi connection. WSR is especially useful for ACK-based devices without screens, such as smart switches and lamps. For details, contact your ACK representative.

Over-the-air updates (OTA)

The ACK over-the-air (OTA) update service lets you manage your ACK module firmware and host microcontroller unit (HMCU) firmware on devices in the field.

The OTA update system offers various useful features. For example, you can deploy updates to groups of test devices in the field, or you can stagger the timing of device updates to ensure that they execute correctly. For details, contact your ACK representative.

ACK Analytics Service

You can use the ACK Analytics Service to collect, store, and analyze data about the performance and use of your ACK-based products.

The ACK Analytics Service enables collection of product logs, product metrics, Heartbeat Metrics, operational metrics, and registration metrics associated with your ACK-based products. You can choose whether to enable collection of logs and metrics for your ACK-based products when designing the product firmware. For details, see ACK Analytics Service and contact your ACK representative.

Dash Replenishment Service (DRS)

Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) is an Alexa integration that makes reordering supplies or replacement parts easier for your users.

After set up, your users can track supply levels within the Alexa app, receive notifications from Alexa when supplies are running low, and smart reorder from Amazon. For details, see the Dash Replenishment Overview and contact your ACK representative."

Alexa smart energy (ASE)

ACK-based devices can use smart home energy APIs to estimate the amount of energy your device consumes. Users can then review and manage their energy usage in the Alexa energy dashboard.

You can integrate an energy dashboard into your device in the following two ways.

The ASE homes API is available only with version 4 or higher of the ACK Device SDK. For details about ASE, see Smart Home Energy. For details about the specific energy APIs that ACK-based devices support, see Alexa.DeviceUsage.Estimation Interface 1.0 and Alexa.DeviceUsage.Meter Interface 1.0.