What is the Alexa Connect Kit?

Alexa Connect Kit (ACK) is a managed service that makes it easy to connect your product to Alexa.

With ACK, you don't need to write an Alexa skill, manage a cloud service, or develop complex network and security firmware to connect your product to Alexa. Instead, you integrate an ACK hardware module into your product and pay a one-time, per-device fee. ACK provides the managed services, software, and tools you can use to develop and manage your Alexa-connected products on an ongoing basis.

After integrating with ACK, your customers benefit from Alexa device control and other features, such as Amazon Frustration-Free Setup (FFS) and Amazon Dash Replenishment Service (DRS).

Start prototyping

To build a prototype, purchase an ACK development kit and complete Set Up an ACK Development Kit.

Example of an ACK development kit

What can you build with ACK?

Use the Alexa Connect Kit to build smart home products that support the Alexa Smart Home API. Examples include lighting and electrical products (switches, outlets, plugs, power strips), small and large domestic appliances (microwaves, coffee machines, kettles, dishwashers), home environment products (fans, purifiers, air conditioners, thermostats), and more.

Examples

For more example products, see Example Products Built with Alexa Connect Kit.

Lighting, switches, and plugs

Create voice-first experiences that provide a more intuitive way to interact with lights, switches, and plugs. For example, your customers can control your product by saying, "Alexa, dim the bedroom light to fifty percent" or "Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree."

Cooking appliances

Create voice-first experiences that provide a more intuitive way to interact with kitchen and cooking appliances, such as microwaves and ovens. For example, your customers can control your product by saying, "Alexa, microwave the popcorn" or "Alexa, cook chicken for two minutes."

Fans and air conditioners

Create voice-first experiences that provide a more intuitive way to interact with fans or other air purifier devices, such as air conditioners. For example, your customers can control your product by saying, "Alexa, set the bedroom fan speed to high" or "Alexa, set the AC to seventy-five."

How's ACK different from other Alexa services?

Alexa provides multiple development options that you can choose from to build and control your smart home devices. These options include the Alexa Connect Kit (ACK), Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), and Alexa Voice Service (AVS). Choosing the correct development options largely depends on your device type, development preference, and the experience you want to create.

The following table lists some high-level differences to consider when choosing an Alexa development option for your smart home device.

Category ACK ASK AVS

Connectivity type

Add an on-device hardware module

Connect your cloud to Alexa with Alexa skills

Build an AVS client or integrate with an existing one

Technology

Alexa Connect Kit (ACK)

Alexa Smart Home Skills

Alexa Voice Service (AVS)

Key considerations

Amazon-managed service. No need to create a skill or manage cloud service

Requires your own device cloud

Device must have a microphone, speaker, an internet connection and meet AVS development requirements

Supported devices

Any device with a microcontroller and functionality that can be supported by the Alexa Smart Home Skill API

Any connected device with functionality that can be supported by the Alexa Smart Home Skill API

Any device with a microphone, a speaker and internet connectivity

Voice user interface

Pre-built (Amazon-defined)

Pre-built (Amazon-defined) or custom built

Pre-built (Amazon-defined)

Alexa certification

Works with Alexa

Works with Alexa

Alexa Built-in

Development Information

Alexa Connect Kit

Smart Home Skill API

Smart Home for AVS

ACK benefits

ACK provides the following benefits for both you and your customers.

For you

  • Quick prototyping – Add Alexa control to your device by using the ACK development kit and provided reference code.
  • No cloud management – Run your devices on an Amazon-managed ACK cloud instead of building your own.
  • Minimal embedded coding – Connect existing device logic to a preconfigured ACK module.
  • Simplified device maintenance – Publish updates to your device fleet and collect operational metrics or device logs.
  • Predictable cost structure – Non-recurring, per-unit fee.

For customers

  • Simplified – Seamless device registration by using Amazon Frustration-Free Setup (FFS).
  • Familiar – Control devices by using Alexa voice commands and the Alexa app.
  • Reliable – Backed by Amazon-managed cloud services and kept up-to-date through seamless over-the-air (OTA) updates.
  • Advanced – Automate devices with Alexa capabilities, such as routines.

ACK features

ACK-based products benefit from the following features:

  • Out-of-box Alexa control – Control your product with the Alexa app or an Alexa-enabled product, such as an Amazon Echo Dot or an Alexa Built-in device.
  • Frustration-Free setup (FFS) / Wi-Fi Simple Setup (WSS) – ACK-based products use Amazon Frustration-Free Setup (FFS) to connect devices to a Wi-Fi network and register them with Alexa. WSS makes it easier for your customers to register their devices with Amazon and Alexa services. WSS offers zero-touch setup, barcode registration, and customer-guided setup flows for device registration. For more details, see Understand Wi-Fi Simple Setup.
  • Logs and metrics* – Define, collect, store and view logs and metrics for your ACK-based devices using the tools Amazon makes available through the ACK Analytics Service. You're a controller of the data you collect and store from your ACK devices. Amazon is a processor of this data, and can only use the data to provide you the ACK managed services.
  • OTA firmware updates* – Update your ACK module and host microcontroller firmware (HMCU) over-the-air to devices in the field.
  • Certification – Certify your device with the Works with Alexa (WWA) and Frustration-Free Setup (FFS) programs.
  • Amazon Dash Replenishment Service (DRS)* – Enable automatic reordering of the consumables for your product with Amazon DRS. For more details, see Dash Replenishment Service.

ACK product components

The following list describes the main components that power an ACK device. For more specific details on how they work together, along with descriptions of other important components, see How Alexa Connect Kit Works.

  • ACK module – An Amazon-managed hardware component that you integrate into your ACK-based device. This module runs the Amazon firmware that connects your device to the ACK managed services.
  • ACK Device SDK – An Amazon provided SDK that runs on your device microcontroller and handles Alexa commands, manages your device states, and implements ACK features, such as over-the-air updates and device logs and metrics.
  • ACK managed services – As your service provider and data processor, Amazon delivers you cloud-based ACK managed services and partner and device-specific backend functionalities. This includes Alexa capability management tools, tools for you to define, collect and store logs and metrics for your ACK-based devices, and tools to support services for monitor the performance and health of your ACK devices and their connection to the internet and Amazon services.
  • ACK developer console – An Amazon-managed online portal that allows you to configure and manage your ACK-based products and devices. With the ACK developer console, you can view device registrations, and download resources, such as the ACK Device SDK.