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Glossary (VSK FTV)

The following glossary defines terms commonly used when integrating the video skills on devices. For more specialized Alexa terms, see the Alexa Skills Kit Glossary.

A| D| E| F| I| L| M| N| P| Q| R| S| T| U| V|

A

Alexa app
The companion app for Alexa customers to set up devices, change settings, and see the displayed output from interactions with Alexa.
Alexa-enabled device
A device that provides access to the Alexa service. Examples include Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Echo Show, and devices made by other manufacturers that use the Alexa Voice Service.
Alexa Skill
A capability or ability of Alexa. Alexa provides a set of built-in skills (such as playing music), and developers can use the Alexa Skills Kit to give Alexa new skills. A skill includes both the code (in the form of a cloud-based service) and the configuration provided on the developer console.
Alexa Voice Remote
A remote control for Fire TV that offers a voice button. Interacting with this voice-enabled remote (even if you're far away from your TV) is still considered "near field" control because you're near the microphone array of the remote control.
Alexa skill
See Skill.
Alexa Skills Kit
A collection of APIs, tools, and documentation for giving Alexa new capabilities. See Build Skills with the Alexa Skills Kit.
Alexa Voice Service (AVS)
Amazon’s intelligent cloud service that allows a developer to voice-enable any connected product with a microphone and speaker with a limited set of Alexa features.
ARN
Amazon Resource Name. When you create a video skill, you configure it with the ARN from your Lambda function.
ASIN
Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) are unique blocks of 10 letters and/or numbers that identify items. You can find the ASIN on the item's product information page at Amazon.com.
Ask
One of the words a user can say to ask Alexa to invoke a particular custom skill. This is used in combination with the invocation name for the skill. For example, Alexa, ask Astrology Daily for my horoscope. There are several phrases users can say to start a conversation with Alexa. See Understanding How Users Invoke Custom Skills.

D

Device cloud
Back-end cloud service that can control a cloud-enabled device. For a smart home skill, you write code hosted as a Lambda function that translates commands from the Alexa smart home skill API to the device cloud.
Device with Alexa
A device that provides access to the Alexa service. Examples include Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, and third-party devices that use the Alexa Voice Service.
Directive
See Device directive.
Directive language
JSON protocol that enables communication between the Alexa smart home skill API and a smart home skill.

E

explicit
Voice command that specifies the content provider or app name, e.g. "Watch Bosch on Amazon Prime".

F

far field
Using an Echo device that is paired to a Fire TV to issue a voice command.
Fire TV Cube
The first Fire TV device offering a hands-free TV experience (far field control). Without a remote, you can use your voice to access, launch, and control content, turn on your TV and AV devices, switch inputs, adjust the volume, search for content, and more from a distance. See Device Specifications for Fire TV for details.
Catalog
An index of the media on Fire TV. Integrating your media catalog with Amazon allows your content to be discovered and launched from Amazon devices. the Fire TV home screen when users search for it (either through voice or text search). See Getting Started with Catalog Ingestion for details.

I

implicit
Voice command that does not specify the content provider or app name, e.g. "Watch Bosch".
intent
A message describing some operation to be performed by any service on the device. See Intent."

L

Lambda blueprint
An option in the AWS Lambda console that provides sample code and a sample configuration for a new Lambda function. There are multiple blueprints relevant to the Alexa Skills Kit. For example:alexa-smart-home-skill-adapter provides a sample skill for a smart home skill in Node.js. alexa-skills-kit-color-expert and alexa-skills-kit-color-expert-python provide samples of a simple custom skill in both Node.js and Python. See Creating an AWS Lambda Function for a Custom Skill.
Lambda function
See AWS Lambda function.
local search
A search for content within a specific catalog-integrated app on Fire TV.

M

mediasession
The way Android allows applications to receive media commands. See Media Session in the Anroid documentation. Alexa on Fire TV makes use of the Media Session API to send commands to local media applications. Events from remotes, keyboards, headset, adb, and so on are also sent to the application through the Media Sessions APIs if the application implements it.
Multimodal
Multimodal refers to an interface that has both a voice and screen-based experience. Each input changes the way a customer can interact with the experience, but the two should work together fluidly. Multimodal devices from Amazon currently include only Echo Show (1st Gen, 2nd Gen, and Echo Show 5).

N

near field
Using the Fire TV Voice Remote to issue a voice command. In the case of the new Fire TV Cube, requests made to the Fire TV Cube initialize Alexa on device so although it uses the microphone array, this is considered a near-field experience.

P

payload
Refers to the payload object within the request (a JSON object) that contains important, actionable information. The Video Skill API reference documentation defines each property in the payload object of the request. See also request.
P0
Top priority. When implementing a feature, a P0 means it has a high priority for implementation, whereas P1, P2, or more indicate less priority.
push notification
Cloud-based messages sent from Amazon Device Messaging that consist of real-time notifications to your app. In the context of the Video Skill API, push notifications include directives from your Lambda code to your app.

Q

quick play
Play content directly by title, actor, genre, sports, teams, leagues without stopping at a detail page.
quick play -- implicit
Quick play phrase that does not mention the content provider or app name in the play phrase.
quick play -- explicit
Quick play phrase that mentions the content provider or app name in the play phrase.

R

request
Generally refers to the directive sent from Alexa to your Lambda. Your Lambda code must handle the request sent from Alexa. 'Directive' refers to a specific part of the request that directs you to do something (such as search or channel change action).
response
The message you should send back to Alexa to confirm your receipt of the request. See also request.

S

Sample utterance
A structured string of text that connects a specific intent to a likely utterance. You provide a set of sample utterances as part of your interaction model for a custom skill. When customers say one of these utterances, the Alexa service sends a request to your service that includes the corresponding intent.
Skill
A robust set of actions or tasks that are accomplished by Alexa. Alexa provides a set of built-in skills (such as playing music), and developers can use the Alexa Skills Kit to give Alexa new skills. A skill includes both the code (in the form of a cloud-based service) and the configuration provided on the developer console.
smart home skill API
An API to create skills that give Alexa the ability to control smart home devices such as lights and switches. The smart home skill API translates utterances such as turn on the lights into device directives that it routes to a lambda function that can control a cloud-enabled device.
Smart home skill
A skill intended to control smart home devices such as lights and thermostats. When using the smart home skill API, the API defines the requests the skill can handle, such as device directives, and the words the users say to make those requests.

A complete smart home skill includes the code hosted as an AWS Lambda function and a configuration that provides the information the Alexa service needs to route requests to the Lambda function. The code for the skill must be able to control the device (such as a light) using the cloud.

T

Text-to-Speech (TTS)
Converts a string of text to synthesized speech (Alexa's voice). The Alexa service can take plain text for TTS conversion.
transport controls
Playback controls while watching media (Play, Pause, Stop, Rewind, Fast-forward, etc.). Also called "media controls."

U

universal search
A search for content across all catalog-integrated apps on Fire TV. You can initiate a universal search using voice or text. All voice searches by default are universal searches. Any search using the search button within the Fire TV UI (rather than using the search provided within a specific app) is also a universal search.
utterance
The words the user says to Alexa to convey what they want to do, or to provide a response to a question Alexa asks.

V

Video Skills Kit
The name for implementing video skills for your Fire TV app. See Video Skill API.
Video Skill API
A set of APIs that enable the far-field control of video devices and streaming services using an Alexa-enabled device. See Video Skill API for details.
voice chrome
Voice chrome is a visual indicator of the Alexa attention states, such as listening, thinking, etc. (You can see an image here.) The chrome will appear on Fire TV when the user is making a near-field voice request.
voice cliff
Voice experience that leads to the user having to pick up the remote control.

For more Alexa terms, see the Alexa Skills Kit Glossary.