Coming Soon: Set Up Alexa Voice Service Devices Through the Alexa App

Sanjay Ramaswamy Aug 10, 2020
Connected Devices SDK News

With connected devices becoming increasingly ubiquitous around the world, customers have come to expect a struggle-free, tinker-free, and stress-free experience when setting up their devices. The complexity of setting up devices is often cited as one of the top issues in customer reviews, leading to poor product engagement and satisfaction. Amazon’s Echo Family of devices addressed this by using Frustration Free Setup (FFS) technology to provide simple and delightful setup experiences.

Today, we are excited to announce that we are bringing FFS to devices powered by Alexa Voice Service (AVS) using Amazon Common Software (ACS) for Devices (preview). Devices that integrate this technology will be able to provide customers with multiple user-friendly wifi setup paths in the Alexa app. Eligible customers that purchase these devices on can enjoy a delightful simplified setup experience when they power on their device. Customers that purchase elsewhere or receive the device as a gift will receive an auto-discovery notification in their Alexa app and can complete setup with just a few clicks. Customers can also perform a manual setup of the device in the Alexa app by choosing the brand and model. The setup will retrieve the customer’s credentials from their Amazon Wi-Fi Locker if saved as part of a previous Amazon device setup, so they don’t have to re-enter them.

This lets customers set up devices with just one app. Device makers no longer need to create and maintain their own app for device setup, and can instead focus their resources on core device features. With a few additional requirements, devices may become eligible for the Certified for Humans (CFH) program. Certified for Humans is an Amazon certification program for Alexa-compatible devices that identifies high-quality smart home experiences across setup, usability, and performance. Certified for Humans devices are struggle-free, tinker-free, stress-free.

How It Works

When an AVS device (a provisionee seeking to be registered) powers up, it establishes a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connection with a nearby Echo device or the Alexa app (a provisioner registered on the user’s account). The provisioner authenticates the device, and provides it with wifi credentials, if available. Once wifi setup is complete, the device is authorized for registration and Alexa is enabled on the device.

How It Works

How to Get Started

The integration of FFS in AVS devices is enabled through the Amazon Common Software (ACS) for Devices (currently available in preview). Amazon introduced ACS earlier this year to accelerate the integration of Amazon Device SDKs. ACS makes it easier and faster for device makers to integrate Amazon Device SDKs by providing:

  • A unified API integration layer,
  • Pre-validated and memory-efficient components for common functions such as connectivity,
  • A device porting kit (DPK), and
  • Multi-tier test suites.

Visit this page to request a preview and get early access to the technology.

You can start building with chipsets that work with ACS and FFS from Solution Providers Mediatek, NXP, Amlogic, and Espressif. You can also engage Solution Providers Tonly, Innotech, and Stream Unlimited for help with the FFS integration on your AVS device.