Build Gadgets, Games, and Smart Toys with the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit – Now Available Everywhere

Lisa Mohanty Oct 28, 2019
Connected Devices Gadgets

Today, we are excited to announce that the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit is now available in all locales where Alexa-enabled devices are sold. Now, developers in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, have the opportunity to build Echo companion devices – unlocking fun and delightful experiences for their customers.

Around the world, customers interact with Alexa billions of times each week – requesting important information, setting timers and alarms, playing their favorite music, and much more. With the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit, you can build companion devices that either enhance Alexa’s capabilities, or create a new interactive experience between the product, Alexa, and the customer. Whether you choose to create a smart toysmart clock, or novelty accessory, the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit enables you to bring delight, entertainment, and utility to your customers.

What You Can Do with the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit

The Alexa Gadgets Toolkit offers self-service APIs and interfaces that expose metadata of Alexa’s capabilities through compatible Echo devices. Use Custom Interfaces to create interactive two-way communication between your product and its paired Echo device, or choose from several Defined Interfaces to build a product that reacts in response to some of Alexa’s most popular capabilities.

Custom Interfaces: Create dynamic interactions and immersive experiences that are unlocked when your product is connected to a compatible Echo device. This API provides a private channel between your companion device and an associated custom Alexa skill, allowing you to create a unique product experience for your customers, regardless of locale or language. To help you get started, here are just a few ideas for products you could build for customers across the globe:

  • Create a mini keyboard for customers in Spain. Using Alexa as a piano teacher, you can enable the keyboard to illuminate keys that correspond to a prescribed musical sequence and provide feedback on whether the correct notes have been played. Learn more
  • Build an Alexa-connected table football for customers in Germany. You can enable interactive experiences such as a scoreboard that lights up when a user says “Alexa, sag Fußball Game, er soll ein Spiel starten,” or sounds to emulate a crowd cheering when a user scores.  
  • Design an indoor drone for customers in Australia, India, or the United Kingdom. You can enable the drone to navigate the room and respond to commands like, “Alexa, tell my drone to fly in a figure-eight,” or play a tune when the drone is descending for landing.

Defined Interfaces: Build a companion device that responds to Alexa's native capabilities, such as setting timers, receiving notifications, playing music, and more. When building Echo Wall Clock, Amazon leveraged Defined Interfaces to extend the utility of Alexa timers, alarms, reminders, and notifications with unique visual responses. The current list of available interfaces includes:

  • Wake Word Detection: Respond when the wake word is detected, such as a cuckoo clock that pops its head out whenever a customer says, “Alexa.”
  • Speech: Sync physical movement to Alexa’s text-to-speech, such as a robot that lip syncs as Alexa reads the local weather report in the language of your preference.
  • Time Info & Alerts: Respond to time or when a timer, alarm or reminder has been set or triggered, such as an outdoor gong that chimes when a backyard playtime timer has concluded, or a switch that releases dog food each time an alarm has expired. View sample
  • Notifications: React to the notification capabilities of Alexa such as an alert flag that raises when a notification is received by your Echo device, and lowers when all notifications are listened to or cleared. View sample
  • Music (Beta): Create visual performances for your customers as they listen to their favorite song on Amazon Music, such as a hula dancer figurine that moves while songs are played on a customer’s Echo device.

The Alexa Gadgets Toolkit also includes technical documentation and sample code to facilitate direct pairing and connectivity, communication, and over-the-air (OTA) updates between your product and its paired Echo device.

how to use alexa skills
Start Building with the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit Today

To get started with the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit, you can access our Raspberry Pi and Python-based solution that includes sample applications and step-by-step guides that simplify the process of getting your prototype connected and ready to respond. Once connected, you have the flexibility to combine your prototype with off-the-shelf components, such as servos, buttons, lights, and more. Here are a few resources to get started:

  1. Resource library
  2. Technical documentation
  3. Sample application that uses Custom Interfaces and step-by-step guides

Start prototyping today and be first-to-market in fun and interactive categories that are not yet connected to Alexa. Sign up to receive the latest updates on the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit and upcoming features. We can’t wait to see what you build for Alexa customers!