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Alexa Smart Home Skills

Use the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to Build Smart Home Skills

The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) provides self-service APIs and tools that you can use to build smart home skills that enable customers to control your cloud-connected devices and appliances using Alexa. You can use our device interfaces like building blocks, putting them together in interesting ways to support almost any smart device.

Smart Home Skills images
On this page:

How it Works    |    How to Build    |    Key Features    |    Example Skills    |    Tools & Metrics    |    More Resources    |    Next Steps

How Smart Home Skills Work

When build smart home skills, Alexa alerts your skill when a customer wants to control your device, and your skill and cloud service then send instructions to your device over the internet.

How smart home skills work diagram

How to Build

Smart Home Skill API

Use the Smart Home Skill API to enable Alexa voice control of your cloud-connected devices via a Skill. With the Smart Home Skill API, the voice interaction model is defined and handled for you, giving you built-in support for many different kinds of devices.

See Documentation

Smart Home Skills images

More Ways to Build

Custom Skill API

With the Custom Skill API, you can build your own voice interaction models from scratch to support additional features beyond those provided in the Smart Home Skill API.

Multi-Capability Skills

With Multi-Capability Skills, you can combine the Smart Home and Custom Skill models into a single skill to support nearly any feature. 


Key Features of Smart Home Skills

Building Block APIs

Use these capability interfaces to describe your device’s Alexa functionality, such as the ability to dim a light or turn it on and off. You can combine multiple capabilities as building blocks together to model the full feature set of your devices.

Automatic Reordering

Make shopping disappear by automating the reordering of batteries, coffee, filters, and more using Amazon Dash Replenishment. 

Proactive State Updates

Send proactive state updates to Alexa when your device makes a change to let customers know when a request was completed, such as updating a door’s status as locked in the Alexa app.

Discovery Messages for Customer Queries

Enable customers to check the current state of a device using Alexa or the Alexa app.


Example Smart Home Skills

iRobot Skill
Smart Life

Tools & Metrics

Leverage tools and analytics to test your smart home skill and manage its performance. 

Automate Testing

Use the Smart Home Tests tool to reduce the time and cost to certify your device by quickly testing your smart home skill’s functionality.

Debug Device Events

Use the Live Debugger Tool tool to test the events that Alexa receives from your skill, including your JSON, and any processing errors.

Test Device States

View the current values of all properties of Smart Home devices that are associated with your skill and your developer account.

Validate Skill Responses

Use the validation schemas to test and validate your smart home skill's Lambda responses.

Manage Operational Metrics

Track and manage your device’s operational metrics like latency and success rates in the ASK console.


More Resources

Explore these resources to learn more about building smart home skills for Alexa.

Tutorial: Build a Smart Home Skill

Learn how to build a Smart Home Skill in the developer console, create an AWS Lambda function to handle the skill's logic, and test your skill. 

Smart Home Skill Device Templates

Get started with our device templates that recommend interfaces you can implement based on your device type.

5 Steps Before You Start

Learn the five prerequisites to building a smart home skill, from account linking to creating an AWS lambda function.

Next Steps

Ready to build? Start building quickly with our step-by-step tutorial for smart home skills skills, or go directly to the Alexa Skills Kit console.