Product Design Best Practices

When you build devices with the Alexa Connect Kit (ACK), you don't have to write an Alexa skill or build your own companion app. Knowing this, the focus of your product design is different than when working with other Alexa services, such as the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) or Alexa Voice Service (AVS).

Some product design considerations for ACK include:

  • Device hardware design
  • Controlling by voice
  • Alexa app design
  • Out-of-box experience

Device hardware design

Specific hardware design details are out of scope of this documentation.

ACK-based devices can take nearly any shape or form, provided your device is large enough to accommodate the minimum hardware requirements, such as your specific ACK module and host microcontroller unit (HMCU).

ACK modules use Wi-Fi to communicate with the Alexa services. For an optimal experience, you should continuously power your device with AC power source. You should also place your ACK module antenna inside a radio frequency (RF) transparent enclosure.

Controlling by voice

When you build ACK-based devices, the voice interaction model is already built for you in each smart home capability interface that you use. This means you don't have to define the phrases or utterances to control your devices. You can see a list of available utterances on each individual smart home capability interface reference page.

For example, when you use the Alexa.BrightnessController interface, the voice interaction model is already built for you. The following examples show some utterances available when using the BrightnessController.

"Alexa, dim the bathroom light."
"Alexa, set the bedroom light to fifty percent."

Alexa app design

When you build an ACK-based product, you don't need to build your own companion app to control your devices. Instead, you leverage prebuilt smart home components in the Alexa app that are generated by the smart home capabilities you choose. For more details, see how capability interfaces influence Alexa app design.

Out-of-box experience

A smooth out-of-box experience helps users set up your device and register it with Alexa.

Specific out-of-box design details are out of scope of this documentation. For more details about device packaging, device size, and Frustration-Free Setup (FFS) barcodes, see Device Requirements.