Today, we are excited to share that Alexa can now make device status announcements for Smart Home devices that use Alexa.RangeController, Alexa.ModeController or Alexa.Cooking interfaces. Developers can simply implement the new Alexa.ProactiveNotificationSource interface and leverage ChangeReport events, to send device status announcements such as “Your washer is done", “Your robotic vacuum is stuck”, or “Your oven has preheated” to customers. Leveraging this new capability, developers can have Alexa engage customers in the most natural way - using voice - to inform them of task progress on their smart home devices. This is made possible by simplifying the process for developers with standardized templates that require no guesswork on messaging, resulting in a consistent customer experience across devices and partners. The interface for developers provides multiple properties across many comprehensive states which can detect events and provide a scalable way of extending device status announcements. More states will be added over time so developers can extend device status announcements.
With device status announcements, manufacturers can alert customers when their Smart Home device needs attention or inform them of task progress, differentiating their products. Manufacturers such as GE Appliances, iRobot, Eufy, Anova, and Samsung are the first to implement device status announcements to make their Alexa-connected devices proactive and helpful to customers.
Manufacturers such as iRobot are using the new interface to proactively alert their customers of any anomalies while they perform their tasks. “Announcements for Smart Home Devices via Alexa enable us to deliver more value to our customers,” says Chris Jones, CTO, iRobot. “We can let customers know when their Roomba robot vacuum or Braava jet robot mop needs assistance and help the customer take an action when they need to. We see this as another step in giving customers greater control over when, where, and how their robots clean, ensuring the job gets done right so customers can focus on more important things.”
Manufacturers such as GE are implementing the new interface to inform their customers of task progress across a broad range of devices. “With Announcements, Alexa can notify customers when their washers, dryers, and ovens have completed the task.” says Shawn Stover, VP Smart Home Solutions, GE Appliances. “It’s a unique experience that supplements the mobile notifications we deliver today, and reaffirms the value of our connected devices.”
Manufacturers like Anova are also implementing the new interface to inform their customers of cooking progress. “At Anova, our mission is to make our products accessible, simple and connected in a meaningful way to our food nerd community," says Anastasia Plotnikova, Director of Marketing at Anova Culinary. "Food nerds can now receive announcements of cooking progress on a connected Anova Precision Oven with Alexa when their oven has preheated, the food has reached the target temperature and even that their food is ready, making it easier than ever to get pro-level results at home."
With this new feature, you don’t have to worry about crafting individual device status announcements. Amazon provides pre-built templates to easily construct the right device status announcement. You can specify the list of notifiable properties and the property value for which you want Alexa to make an announcement, such as “Your <instance friendly name> is <state>”. Today, states like “Low”, “Empty”, “Full”, “Done”, and “Stuck”, are supported for a variety of devices such as vacuums, washers, and dryers. Specifically for cooking appliances, announcements support different states with Alexa.CookingStatus, which can take values such as, “PREHEATING_COMPLETED”, “FOOD_TARGET_TEMPERATURE_REACHED”, “COOKING_COMPLETED”, and “READY“. Here, Alexa can make an announcement such as,“Your <appliance friendly name> is ready to use” with pre-defined templates.
To get started, you can implement the ProactiveNotificationSource interface for your device in your discovery response. When you use ChangeReport to report a change to a property, it triggers device status announcements supported by ProactiveNotificationSource.
To enable device status announcements for devices using Alexa.RangeController or Alexa.ModeController interfaces, indicate the Alexa states that your device supports. Here you include a semantics object with stateMappings field in the appropriate controller instance in your discovery response. When you configure the ProactiveNotificationSource interface you simply specify the list of notifiable properties for your device and the corresponding states these properties should reach in order for an announcement to be sent. For example, to notify customers when their washer is done, you would include a notification condition for Alexa.ModeController.mode property with the value Alexa.States.Done. Then, whenever you send a change report for an updated mode value corresponding to Alexa.States.Done, Alexa knows to notify your customer with a device status announcement.
Similarly, for cooking devices that use the Alexa.Cooking interface, to enable device status announcements, indicate the cooking statuses that your device supports by including the property Alexa.Cooking.supportedCookingStatuses in your discovery response. When you configure the ProactiveNotificationSource interface you simply specify the list of notifiable cooking statuses for your device in order for an announcement to be sent. For example, to notify customers that their food is ready, you would include a notification condition for “COOKING_COMPLETED”. Then, whenever you send a change report for a cookingStatus value corresponding to "COOKING_COMPLETED", Alexa knows to notify your customer with a device status announcement.
Join leading brands in enabling device status announcements for your customers! You can start integrating your compatible devices to support this feature today by viewing the documentation below.