The Top 10 Alexa tech docs of 2022

Staff Writer Dec 20, 2022
AVS Device SDK Smart Home Alexa Skills

Alexa has a robust library of developer technical documentation, designed specifically to help you build voice and multimodal experiences customers love. These are the most popular tech docs from 2022, divided into the categories of skills, smart homes, and the Alexa Voice Service (AVS). 


The Alexa skill ecosystem is expanding quickly. Today, Alexa has more than 130,000 skills in 17 language variants across more than 80 countries. Explore the documentation that keeps skill builders innovating to connect with a global audience.

  1. Build an engaging skill: This workshop gives you hands-on experience using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to design an engaging voice interface, ultimately creating a skill called ‘Cake Time.’ 

  2. Steps to build a custom skill: Get a step-by-step guide to create a custom voice interaction model, then create unique skills.

  3. Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) reference: Use SSML to control how Alexa generates the speech, adding pauses and other natural speech effects.

  4. Alexa Skills Kit sound library: Discover a set of sound effects that you can integrate into your skill.

  5. Request and response JSON reference: This tech doc details the protocol interface between the Alexa service and the web service or Lambda function you create. AWS Lambda is a service offered by Amazon Web Services.

Smart Homes

Developers are creating groundbreaking ambient experiences through smart homes, and customers have now connected over 300 million smart home devices to Alexa. Here are the tech docs helping shape the future of connected homes.

  1. Understand the smart home skill API: See a comprehensive overview of building for smart homes, including a breakdown of supported devices and how the smart home API works.

  2. Smart home Zigbee support: This guide helps you connect your smart home device to Alexa with Zigbee, a global wireless radio communication standard designed to enable the control and monitoring of connected devices. As a low-power, close-proximity solution, Zigbee is especially well suited for home automation.

  3. Steps to build a smart home skill: Learn what it takes to create your own smart home skill, all the way from registering an account to skill certification. 

  4. Get started with smart home skill device templates: You can connect a wide variety of devices to Alexa by using the Smart Home API. Get started by reviewing the device templates in this document to find a match for your specific needs. 

  5. Understand state and change reporting: When you create an Alexa skill that interacts with a smart home device, you can include support for state and change reporting. This concept guide outlines how you report state to Alexa as well as how to indicate covers the Alexa interfaces your skill supports.

Amazon Voice Service (AVS)

Amazon Voice Service helps engineering manufacturers (OEM), original design manufacturers (ODM), and systems integrators (SI) build Alexa into smart speakers, headphones, PCs, TVs, vehicles, and more. Discover the tech docs most valuable to the AVS community.

  1. Get started with Alexa Voice Service: An overview of Alexa Voice Service, key features, and customer experience guidelines for device makers.

  2. Register a product with AVS: In this tutorial, you learn to register an AVS Built-in device with the Amazon developer portal. To do so, you’ll also go through the steps of account creation and setting up a security profile. 

  3. AVS UX attention system: The Alexa attention system ensures Alexa behaves predictably and with familiarity—even with different devices. The attention system is made up of non-verbal and visual pieces, including color, sound, and animation. This tech doc describes each of the attention system’s individual components and attention states in detail. 

  4. Functional requirements for AVS products: This document provides functional and design requirements and recommendations to help you meet user expectations and avoid issues as you develop, prototype, and prepare your product for commercial release.

  5. SpeechRecognizer 2.3 for AVS: The SpeechRecognizer interface is the core interface of the Alexa Voice Service (AVS), exposing directives and events for capturing and interacting with user speech. In this guide, you will see updates for SpeechReocgnizer 2.3 and gain in-depth knowledge of its features. 

Recommended Reading

The top 10 Alexa blog posts of 2022
Two videos to get you up and running with Alexa's Skill Quality coach
The acoustics behind Alexa in space