Why Amazon smart lighting partners like Yeelight are integrating the Local Adapter Platform to boost customer satisfaction

Staff Writer May 27, 2022
Alexa Voice Service Smart Home API

Amazon announced the availability of the Local Adapter Platform (LAP) for partners whose devices support a proprietary local protocol. The platform establishes a connection over the local wireless network between Alexa-enabled Echo devices (Fire OS 6 and 7), and smart home devices allowing for faster response times. Smart lighting manufacturer Yeelight was one of the first device makers to adopt LAP for their smart LEDs and bulbs. 

Since its founding in 2012, Yeelight has rapidly grown to become one of the world’s leading smart lighting providers. Being able to respond to customer needs promptly has been instrumental to the company’s growth and expansion in 200 countries around the world. Recently, Yeelight was among one of the first to integrate the new Local Adapter Platform (LAP).

Because the service uses a local connection between the customer's Echo device and the customer's smart home device, LAP allows the company’s LED and Smart Bulbs to continue working even when the Internet is down. The local connectivity combines Alexa’s local speech processing and local control, to deliver sub-second, end-to-end latency on newer Amazon Echo devices.  

“We integrated with LAP after hearing from customers just how much they valued faster response times and improved connectivity,” said Victoria Wang, Business Development Lead for Yeelight. “We also saw incredible second-order effects: we estimate that our cloud datacenter costs will go down by as much as 12% due to the local connectivity enabled by LAP.”

Smart lighting company Yeelight was among the first companies to implement LAP.



A world of benefits: for end customers and developers

LAP confers several benefits for customers with Alexa-enabled devices in their homes including:

  • Faster control *: Alexa speeds up response times for voice, touch and routines commands by using a local connection between the customer's Echo device and your smart home device. Local processing enables faster response times. 
  • Improved reliability: Customers’ requests have multiple potential routes to reach their smart device, increasing reliability. Alexa will choose the fastest, most reliable route, with a fall back to retry the next available route.
  • Offline control: If the customers’ internet connectivity is down, they can still use Alexa to control their smart devices. 

LAP also offers benefits to developers: 

  • Reduced impact of cloud outages: Outages to the device cloud will have less of a customer-facing impact, since Alexa relies on local connectivity to execute smart home commands. 
  • Reduced operational costs: High-volume actions like turn on/off, time-based routines are routed locally reducing cloud and data center costs. 
  • Fast time-to-market: Developers with devices that support local discovery and device control in a manner that is similar to that enabled by cloud-based APIs can build and launch a local skill within two months without worrying about cloud-related scaling and maintenance. Additionally, LAP is region-agnostic, allowing customers globally to leverage the reliability of Alexa‘s global infrastructure and the robust functionality of Amazon Echo devices in their homes. 
  • Local Detection: Device makers that participate in Device Discovery can provide customers with a simplified customer experience. The feature set detects smart appliances on a customer’s Wi-Fi network automatically, and establishes a connection to Alexa. All LAP capable devices will have DICE capabilities.

How LAP works

LAP has the following components: 

  1. Runtime engine built by Amazon and deployed on customers’ Echo Devices; 
  2. Local smart home skills that are deployed to the runtime engine, which provide translation, orchestration and validation from Alexa commands to the 3P appliance’s local APIs and messaging formats;
  3. A cloud triggered local discovery service that automatically discovers smart home devices which a customer has already connected to Alexa via account linking; 
  4. In the coming months, LAP will include self-service tools to help 3P developers build, manage, and monitor their local smart home skills. 

For devices to be eligible to work with LAP, they should be capable of being discovered and communicating over customer's local network. Device makers meeting these qualifications can use LAP along with their local capabilities standards (API) to enable their devices to respond to commands (e.g. turn on/turn off) in a manner that is similar to mechanisms enabled by cloud skills. Once your local skill is deployed on LAP across all eligible Echo devices at customers’ homes, these devices will be discoverable and controllable by both cloud and local skills. By default, the local skill will be invoked to provide faster, more reliable discovery and control experience to customers.  

An important of differentiation when it comes to Matter: As a founding member of Matter, Amazon excited to be leading the development of the Matter specifications by working in close collaboration with over 240 members from the Connectivity Standards Alliance and major industry players. LAP is different in that the feature leverages the partners’ local API. Device makers can choose to support both or either of the standards based on their needs.  

Device makers like Yeelight, TPLink, Lifx, Sengled, eWeLink have onboarded to LAP to increase customer satisfaction and reduce operational costs. We are also working on LAP SDK, CLI and other tools, which will enable developers to onboard LAP through self-service in the near future. As of today, LAP supports UDP Broadcast, SSDP, mDNS for discovery, and HTTP, TCP and UDP for transport. 

For Yeelight, LAP is the latest Alexa-enabled feature that allows them to provide a differentiated experience to their customers. 

The Local Adapter Platform Analytics page in the Alexa developer console provides business adoption and operational metrics of smart home devices that connect to your Local Adapter Platform. You can view and analyze these metrics in the Local Adapter Platform Analytics dashboard in the Alexa developer console. You can access this dashboard through a custom smart home URL that you receive from your Amazon Business Development representative. Please visit this link to learn more.

“Alexa is the leading service for intelligent voice assistants by far,” said Wang. “We are excited to partner with Alexa to provide our customers with a superior smart lighting experience.”

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