ACK Device Features

There are many different features you can integrate into your Alexa Connect Kit (ACK)-based product that affect how users interact with your device.

Some of these features are required, meaning you must include them in your product design to pass certification. Other features are optional add-ons that you can use to enhance your product. Both sets of features require some level of integration work with the ACK Device SDK to fit the needs of your specific product.

The following table shows the different required and optional ACK device features.

Feature Required?

Frustration-Free Setup (FFS)

Yes

    Auto Discovery

No

    Wi-Fi Simple Reconnect (WSR)

No

Over-the-air updates (OTA)

Yes

ACK Analytics Service

No

Dash Replenishment Service (DRS)

No

Alexa smart home energy

No

Frustration-Free Setup (FFS)

ACK-based products use Amazon Frustration-Free Setup (FFS) to connect devices to a Wi-Fi network and register them with Alexa. By implementing FFS on your device, you can use the same Alexa setup and authentication technology that Amazon uses for its own devices. You don't have to create a separate companion app to guide users through setup. Users benefit by not having to switch between different apps during the setup process.

You can use three different FFS setup modes for your ACK-based device, including:

  • Zero-Touch Setup (ZTS) – Doesn't require any user interaction. FFS automatically sets up and registers the device with Alexa after the user powers the device on for the first time.
  • Barcode Setup (BCS) – The user sets up the device by scanning an on-device barcode with the Alexa app.
  • User-Guided Setup (UGS) – The user sets up the device by following instructions in the Alexa app.
Set up FFS for ACK

For more details about using each of the FFS setup modes with ACK-based devices, see User-Initiated Triggers.

Auto discovery is an FFS feature that automatically detects unregistered ACK-based devices and further simplifies their setup in the Alexa app.

With Auto discovery enabled, a user plugs in their device and opens the Alexa app on their phone. Next, the app displays a card that takes the user directly to the device setup page. This feature allows users to skip many of the intermediate steps that they usually must take to set up a device.

Set up Auto discovery for ACK

For more details about how to set up and use Auto discovery with an ACK-based device, contact your ACK representative.

Wi-Fi Simple Reconnect (WSR)

Wi-Fi Simple Reconnect (WSR) is an FFS feature that helps ACK-based devices reconnect to a network automatically when a password or network name changes. When an ACK-based device loses connectivity, a nearby connected device, such as Alexa app or Echo, helps refresh its Wi-Fi credentials and restore the Wi-Fi connection.

WSR is especially useful for ACK-based devices without screens, such as smart switches or lamps.

Set up WSR for ACK

For more details about how to set up and use WSR with an ACK-based device, contact your ACK representative. WSR might require additional on-boarding for your device and is only available for devices with newer versions of the ACK module firmware.

Over-the-air updates (OTA)

ACK provides an over-the-air (OTA) update service so you can manage your ACK module firmware and host microcontroller unit (HMCU) firmware updates for devices in the field. The OTA update system provides various useful features, such as deploying changes to groups of test devices in the field and staggering updates.

Set up OTA for ACK

To learn about setting up OTA on ACK-based devices, contact your ACK representative.

ACK Analytics Service

You can use the ACK Analytics Service to collect, store, and analyze data about the performance and use of your ACK-based products. The ACK Analytics Service enables collection of Product Logs, Product Metrics, Heartbeat Metrics, and Registration Metrics associated with your ACK-based products. You can choose whether to enable collection of logs and metrics for your ACK-based products when designing the firmware for your ACK Products.

ACK Analytics Service

To learn more about collecting metrics on an ACK-based device, see ACK Analytics Service and contact your ACK representative.

Dash Replenishment Service (DRS)

Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) is an Alexa integration that makes reordering supplies or replacement parts easier for your customers. After set up, your customers can track supply levels within the Alexa app, receive notifications from Alexa when supplies are running low, and smart reorder from Amazon.

Set up DRS for ACK

For more details about how to set up and use DRS with an ACK-based device, see the Dash Replenishment Overview and contact your ACK representative.

Alexa smart energy (ASE)

ACK-based devices can use smart home energy APIs to estimate the energy consumed by your device. Users can then review and manage their energy usage by using the Alexa energy dashboard. You can integrate an energy dashboard on your device in two different ways:

The Alexa smart energy homes API are only available if you use the ACK Device SDK 4 or higher.

Set up Alexa smart energy for ACK

For more details about how to use Alexa smart energy, see Smart Home Energy. For details about the specific energy APIs that ACK-based devices support, see Alexa.DeviceUsage.Estimation and Alexa.DeviceUsage.Meter.