Customize a Virtual Product

This topic outlines how to customize the Alexa capabilities that your product supports using the Alexa Connect Kit (ACK) console.

Understand Alexa smart home capabilities

Alexa capabilities define the Alexa utterances your customers use with your product, and the Alexa app control page that they interact with.

Here are some example products and associated Alexa smart home capabilities and utterances. To see more examples, review the Smart Home Skill Device Templates.

Product Name Example Utterances Smart Home Capabilities
Tea Kettle "Alexa, turn on the tea kettle." PowerController
Light Switch "Turn on the bedroom light." PowerController, BrightnessController
Fan "Turn on the fan."
"Set the fan speed to high."
PowerController, RangeController
Microwave "Two minutes on the microwave."
"Cook the pizza."
Cooking, Cooking.PresetController, Cooking.TimeController

Modify your product's smart home capabilities

You use the JSON editor on your virtual product page to declare the Alexa capabilities that your product supports. By default, a virtual product comes with the PowerController capability. Each type of product has a number of recommended capabilities, but you can add whichever supported Alexa capabilities that you want.

To update your products Alexa capabilities:

  1. Log in to your account, if you aren't already logged in.
  2. Open the ACK console Products page.
  3. Select the product that you'd like to customize.
  4. Navigate to the Alexa smart home capabilities section in the Alexa capabilities tab.
  5. Select Edit.
  6. Choose and add capabilities as you'd like from the drop-down menu, or edit the JSON for existing capabilities.
  7. Select Save

Error handling

The ACK console capability editor guides you in specifying capabilities in the following ways:

  1. Enables you to add capabilities using a menu listing supported capabilities - no need to copy and paste
  2. Indicates JSON syntax errors
  3. Indicates errors related to capability-specific schemas or the API schema as a whole. For example, if you specify two copies of the Alexa.PowerController capability (not allowed by the Smart Home API), you will get a DUPLICATED_BASIC_CAPABILITIES error. See the full list of errors.