Introducing New Tools for Device Makers to Create Screen-Based Products with Alexa
Gagan Luthra Sep 20, 2018
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With the Echo Show, Amazon introduced a new device category that combined the best of voice-forward experiences with a visual display. We’ve brought Alexa to even more screen-based devices in the time since, including Echo Spot and Fire tablets, and today we announced an all-new Echo Show with a beautiful 10” screen and enhanced visuals. Alongside its release, we’re excited to introduce new tools for device makers to create their own screen-based products with Alexa. These tools will be available to commercial device makers through a developer preview.

New SDK to Create Screen-Based Devices with Alexa

The Alexa Smart Screen and TV Device SDK is a new solution that enables device makers to create beautiful screen-based products with Alexa, combining visual experiences with standard Alexa capabilities like music, information, smart home control, and tens of thousands of Alexa skills. The SDK brings rich visual experiences to voice-forward products and includes support for visual Alexa skills developed using the new Alexa Presentation Language (APL). Device makers can bring differentiated products to market for a variety of form factors, including smart displays, ambient screens, tablets, TVs, and more. The Alexa Smart Screen and TV Device SDK is available for Android- and Linux-based devices. 

The Alexa Smart Screen and TV Device SDK for Android provides an application package that brings Echo Show-like visual experiences to tablets, TVs, and other screen-based products. It offers many of the best Alexa features right out of the box (ambient home screen, video calling and messaging, music with lyrics, video flash briefing, security camera feeds, photos, shopping, timers & alarms, weather, Q&A, to-do lists, movies & showtimes, and more) and includes support for the new APL-based visual skills. The Android variant gives device makers access to the same technology behind the next generation Echo Show, offering a faster integration path and a consistent user experience. 

The Alexa Smart Screen and TV Device SDK for Linux includes new capability agents to interface with and parse the new APL-based skills, bringing rich visual experiences to a variety of screen-based products with Alexa, including smart home devices, home appliances, smart mirrors, and more. The SDK offers a new web-based visual runtime that renders the new visual skills and interactions authored using APL. 

Commercial device makers interested in using the Alexa Smart Screen and TV Device SDK can sign-up to request an invite to the developer preview. Learn more »

New Hardware Development Kit for Alexa Built-in Devices

We are also excited to introduce the Alexa Smart Screen Dev Kit, a hardware and software reference solution for screen-based products with Alexa built-in. Featuring a complete system design, the kit is based on a production-ready ARM Cortex-A53 chipset that hosts the Alexa client software and audio front end technology for ‘Alexa’ wake word detection. It features a 4” touch screen, a 3-mic array for far-field speech recognition, the Amazon wake word engine, and includes the new Alexa Smart Screen and TV Device SDK and a sample voice-forward GUI. In addition to support for screens with rich visuals, this dev kit features the latest AVS technologies like Alexa Multi-Room Music and Alexa communications. 

Commercial device makers can request an invite and learn more about the dev kit. Learn more » 

“Customers love placing visual, voice-enabled products at the center of their home, and these new tools will allow device makers to deliver even more choice and flexibility when it comes to visual products with Alexa,” said Pete Thompson, Vice President of Alexa Voice Service. “Because the new SDK and dev kit were built using the same core technology from the all-new Echo Show, device makers can build truly differentiated products while continuing to deliver a more consistent customer experience that includes the latest Alexa features. We can’t wait to see what they create.” 

Product Spotlight

Lenovo used the Alexa Smart Screen and TV Device SDK for Android in beta to develop the Lenovo Smart Tabs, a new series of incredible Android tablets that feature Alexa built-in and Show Mode for more visual, immersive Alexa experiences. The Smart Tabs will enhance the way customers interact with their music, control smart home devices, and more.

Coming soon: Sony collaborated with Amazon to use the SDK to bring audio and visual experiences to select Sony Smart TV models that work with companion Alexa devices, like the Amazon Echo. Customers can talk to Alexa through the Echo and see visual responses on the TV for music and camera feeds.