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July 13, 2017Jeff Blankenburg
Today we are excited to introduce entertainment capabilities as part of the Smart Home Skill API. Now customers can easily control cloud-connected TVs, AV Receivers, IR Hubs, and even connected speakers without invoking a specific skill. For example, a customer could simply say, “Alexa, turn on the TV,” “Alexa, fast forward,” “Alexa, make it louder,” or “Alexa, switch input to Blu-Ray.” You create skills that connect devices directly to the entertainment capabilities in Alexa so that customers can control your devices—without lifting a finger. Launching today are smart home skills with entertainment controls from Sony, Logitech Harmony, and BroadLink. Skills from Denon, Crestron, LG, and Pulse-Eight are coming soon.
Customers are increasingly using voice interfaces as a hands-free way to manage their lives. By using the built-in entertainment device controls in Alexa, you will make it easier for your customers to engage with your device using voice. Because the Smart Home Skill API taps into Amazon’s standardized Alexa language model, you don’t need to build the voice interaction model for your skill. Alexa will understand the customer’s speech, convert it to a directive, and send that directive to your skill adapter. Your skill adapter can then communicate with your device to act on the directive and send a response back to Alexa. These new capabilities are available to developers in the US with support for UK and Germany coming soon.
Sony, Logitech and BroadLink have already created Alexa skills leveraging these new capabilities launching today.
You can connect your entertainment device to Alexa by following these steps:
We look forward to seeing what you create with these new capabilities. To learn more about developing a smart home skill, check out these resources:
Developers have built more than 15,000 skills with the Alexa Skills Kit. Explore the stories behind some of these innovations, then start building your own skill. If you’re serious about getting into building voice UIs, we’d like to help you explore. If you publish a skill in July and apply for our promotion, we’ll send you an Echo Dot and some new Alexa swag so you can experiment and daydream.