Device makers with a proprietary multi-room music protocol can connect their soundbars & AVRs to Alexa using a Connected Speaker Skill. Customers can play music by explicitly referring to the room name (e.g., “Alexa, play music in the Living Room”) or by designating a device as the preferred speaker for any room. In this latter configuration, a customer can say, “Alexa, play music” and music will play on the preferred device automatically. Customers can also use Alexa Cast to cast music to any Alexa-connected device from any Alexa Cast compatible mobile app.
Once the music has started, no mention of room names is required for customers to seamlessly control music. Customers can simply request controls like “pause”, “resume”, “next”, or “turn it up.” Customers can also use their voice to control music initiated in third-party applications, including music from services not yet offered from Alexa.
Customers can also control their home theater experience using voice, including adjustment of EQ (e.g., “Alexa, turn up the bass”), setting sound modes (e.g., “Alexa, set movie mode”), and switching inputs.
HEOS is a connected technology platform from Denon and Marantz, powering connected experiences across a multitude of Audio/Visual Receivers and stand-alone connected speakers. The included HEOS mobile application allows users to stream music from their favorite supported music service provider and synchronize the music across all of the user's HEOS-enabled devices.
HEOS built a combined Alexa Connected Speaker and Smart Home Skill to add voice control of streaming music, such as Pandora, TuneIn, and others, and device control capabilities, such as power on/off and input switching, on a user's HEOS device. Once a user enables the HEOS Home Entertainment Skill and completes device discovery, they can ask any Alexa built-in or Echo family devices in their Alexa account to start streaming music on their preferred HEOS device or pre-established HEOS group, skip to the next song (when allowed), raise/lower the volume, switch inputs on the device, and voice control many other functions.
When a user asks Alexa to perform a function on a HEOS device or pre-established HEOS group, Alexa passes the commands to the HEOS Connected Speaker Skill Lambda function as directives, and the HEOS skill lambda dispatches the directives to the HEOS cloud. Once the directive arrives, the HEOS cloud takes appropriate control actions on the targeted connected device. Both the cloud and the connected device generate related events to communicate play or control state information asynchronously back to the Alexa cloud. When users use the HEOS mobile application to initiate music stored on their phone or from other supported streaming providers, information about what is playing is communicated by events to the Alexa cloud, keeping Alexa aware and in-sync with what is playing on the HEOS device. Since Alexa is aware of what HEOS is playing, users can still ask Alexa what's playing, and they can control the music with commands like next, pause and resume, even though the HEOS cloud initiated and controls the music source.
The Connected Speaker Skill offering is ideal for device makers with in-market offerings that have limited hardware capacity to run additional client-side software. By using a skill-based (a.k.a. “cloud-controlled”) implementation, a Connected Speaker Skill prototype can be built in just a few days, and some device makers can launch an offering with little or no modification to the client-side software on their speakers.
Solution components: Connected Speaker Skill, Video Skill
Note: Connected Speaker Skills are restricted to commercial device makers with multi-room protocols for music playback. Talk to your Amazon point of contact to learn more about the offering and request access to the Connected Speaker Skill APIs and Alexa Music Services.
Certifying your products through the Works with Alexa program increases your customers’ confidence that they will have a great Alexa experience. Learn about the program and the requirements.
We take privacy very seriously at Amazon, and we apply those same standards to our work with third-party device makers. You must comply with a set of security requirements that allow you to be proactive in identifying and resolving security defects, strengthen the security of your devices, and protect the privacy of Alexa end users.
If you need to install/modify firmware on your device to enable Alexa functionality, you also need to comply with AVS best practices.
Amazon Alexa users expect a high-quality and consistent experience across all products. To help you meet this bar, we provide a series of checklists for self-testing before you submit your product for certification. See here for an overview of device testing requirements and here for skill requirements.
Music certification, Works with Alexa Badging certification, Smart Home Skill certification
After your product has passed all the self-test requirements, you must submit your device and skill to Amazon for review and certification prior to commercial distribution.
Music Certification: Please contact us using the email form below, and we will help guide you through this process. Click here to get started.
Skill Certification: Your skill must pass the skill certification and must be published in the Alexa Skills store for your Works with Amazon Alexa certification to be completed. Submit the skill for certification using the ASK developer console or ASK CLI.
Amazon offers numerous ways to increase exposure for your device with Alexa built-in to the millions of customers who shop on Amazon.com every day. Whether you’re preparing to launch a new device on Amazon.com or looking to increase sales momentum throughout the year, we offer several solutions to help get you started.
We offer tools that make it easy to manage your product once it has launched, including an Analytics Dashboard and Product Capability settings. We continue to add new self-service tools that equip you with the knowledge to quickly update your product to support the latest features when available. You can see these features and many more in the AVS Developer Console.