Enable Customers to Access Recorded Video Feeds with Alexa via the Cameras Recap API

Brian Crum Aug 07, 2018
Connected Devices Smart Home API

Today, we are excited to announce the addition of the Cameras Recap API to the Smart Home Skill API so that your smart home camera skill can enable customers to view recorded smart home camera video feeds on Echo Show, Echo Spot, Fire TV, and Fire Tablets. Once you’ve implemented the new Cameras Recap API, customers can say, “Alexa, show the event that just happened at the front door” and see the last recorded event from their connected camera. Support for the Cameras Recap API is available today from Ring, Arlo, Cloud Cam, and August. This new capability is available today to developers in the US with support for additional international locales coming soon.

How to Use the Cameras Recap API

To use the new Cameras Recap API, you must use version 3 (V3) of the Smart Home Skill API. The Cameras Recap API implements the authentication model in V3 of the Smart Home Skill API, which enables your skill to send events to Alexa asynchronously. When your smart home skill receives a camera stream request, you respond with an URL to the requested video feed. Depending on your storage and subscription policies, the recorded video feed is made available your customer.

To support this functionality, there is one new directive and two events related to cameras:

  1. If the camera supports Media Creation, then it should be declared during discovery with this new capability set as "Alexa.MediaMetadata”. When a customer requests a video feed then an URI will be requested via MediaMetadata: GetMediaMetadata. 
  2. Use the MediaCreatedOrUpdated Event to indicate when there is motion, audio, a doorbell press, or when a live view being recorded. 
  3. When a video is deleted, send an event using MediaDeleted Event.

In addition, there are some security and performance requirements for the smart home camera feeds. Review the requirements for smart home cameras before starting your implementation.

To learn more about building smart home skills, check out these resources: