Prototype and Develop Overview

To develop your Alexa Connect Kit (ACK)-based product, you create a virtual prototype in the ACK developer console, associate it with your physical device using the provisioning process, and then build your application on your host microcontroller unit (HMCU) with the ACK Device SDK.

Use the following prototype and development guidelines as you develop your ACK-based product.

Product development guidelines

Phase 3: Prototype and develop

Prerequisites

Meet the following prerequisites before you begin prototyping and development:

  • Create an Amazon developer account – Use an Amazon developer account to create and manage your devices. For more details on how to set up an account, see Create Your Developer Account.
  • Select an ACK module, HMCU, and get a relevant development kit – Use the ACK development kit to run and test your application code on hardware. For more details about purchasing hardware, see Get the ACK Development Kit.

Prototype

In this phase, you create a virtual product to represent your end product using the ACK development console. A virtual product represents a physical product type, such as smart fan. It uses Alexa smart home capabilities to define the user interaction with your physical device through Alexa. It also contains details about how you represent your device in the Alexa app.

After you create a virtual product, use your ACK development kit, HMCU development kit, and the ACK Device SDK to build a working prototype of your device. To do this, you associate your ACK module with the virtual product you created earlier. You then use the ACK Device SDK to develop your HMCU application. This application should and implement the features that your outlined in the Product Design phase. There are a number of sample applications included with the SDK that you can use as templates.

Key tasks

Get started by completing the following tasks:

  • Create and define virtual product in the ACK developer console. For more details about virtual products, see Virtual Products.
  • Build a prototype with the ACK development kit and your HMCU development kit of choice.
  • Provision your ACK module on your ACK development kit with your virtual product. For details about provisioning, see Module provisioning.
  • Implement your ACK lifecycle and Alexa controls in your HMCU application.

Exit criteria

  • A working ACK prototype running on your ACK development kit which connects to your HMCU development kit or equivalent hardware.

Development

In this phase, you produce Engineering Validation Test (EVT) units that include a working demo of all your product features and Alexa functionality. You integrate the ACK module and HMCU into your printed circuit board assembly (PCBA). You provision your development devices and register them with Alexa and the ACK managed services. You port your development code into your own HMCU app. You finalise your printed circuit board (PCB) hardware design.

Key tasks

  • Finalize the implementation of your ACK application lifecycle and Alexa controls running on your actual product hardware.
  • Review and finalize your PCB, schematics, and board component design.
  • Produce an EVT that includes a working demo of all your product features and Alexa functionality as outlined in Phase 2: Product design.

Exit criteria

  • Build EVT units that meet your initial product design.

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