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Gadget Design Considerations

When you design your Alexa Gadget, consider the following aspects:

  • Audience – Who are your target users? What problem are you trying to solve for them? Note that the ability to create kid gadgets is not yet publicly available. If you are interested in building a gadget specifically marketed towards kids, please subscribe to receive updates on the Alexa Gadgets home page.
  • Cost – What is your budget? In addition to development costs, there are costs associated with the bill of materials (BOM), silicon real estate, physical size, time to market, and so on.
  • Locale – What countries will your gadget be available in?
  • Tenets – When you make design trade-offs, what are your guiding tenets?
  • Features – Which Alexa features are you looking to focus on or enhance? For example: notifications, timers, your own skill, and so on.
  • Power source – Consider whether your gadget should be wired or battery-powered:

    • Wired – This is preferred when the gadget is stationary and responds to events like notifications. Because these gadgets use USB or AC power and a transformer, they can poll frequently or sustain a constant connection. As a result, the power requirements for these gadgets aren't as strict.
    • Battery-powered – This is preferred when the gadget is an input device or intended for short bursts of use following a user activation. Gadgets that run on a mobile or unattached power source either have poor battery life or need to regularly sleep until user interaction occurs.