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Alexa Voice Service API Overview

(v20160207)

Overview

The Alexa Voice Service (AVS) API allows developers to voice-enable connected products with a microphone and speaker. Once integrated, your product will have access to the built in capabilities of Alexa (like music playback, timers and alarms, package tracking, movie listings, calendar management, and more) and third-party skills developed using the Alexa Skills Kit.

AVS is comprised of interfaces that correspond to client-functionality, like speech recognition, audio playback, and volume control. Each interface contains logically grouped messages called directives and events. Directives are messages sent from the cloud instructing your client to take action. Events are messages sent from your client to the cloud notifying Alexa something has occurred.

The API uses Login with Amazon (LWA) for product authorization and exposes an HTTP/2 endpoint.

Authorization

To access the AVS API your product needs to obtain a Login with Amazon (LWA) access token, which grants a product access to call the API on a customer’s behalf. There are two ways to authorize a product:

Remote Authorization is used to authorize devices with a companion website or mobile app. Typically, remote authorization is used with headless devices, like a smart speaker.

Local Authorization is used to authorize Alexa from the AVS-enabled product. Typically, local authorization is used with Android and iOS applications.

Transport Protocol

The following pages provide information to help you manage a connection and structure requests.

Endpoints

AVS exposes an HTTP/2 service and expects multipart messages encoded for HTTP/2. The following endpoints are supported:

Region Supported Countries URL
North America US https://avs-alexa-na.amazon.com
Europe UK, Germany https://avs-alexa-eu.amazon.com

Interfaces

Each interface is a collection of directives and events, which correspond to specific client-side functionality. Use the table below to explore:

Interface Description
SpeechRecognizer The core interface for the Alexa Voice Service. Each user utterance leverages the Recognize event.
SpeechSynthesizer The interface for Alexa speech.
Alerts The interface for setting, stopping, and deleting timers and alarms. For a conceptual overview, see Understanding Alerts.
AudioPlayer The interface for managing and controlling audio playback. For a conceptual overview, see Understanding AudioPlayer.
PlaybackController The interface for navigating a playback queue via button affordances.
Speaker The interface for volume control of a device or application, including mute and unmute.
Settings The interface for managing Alexa settings on your product, such as locale.
System The interface for providing client information to Alexa.

Versioning

Amazon regularly updates the AVS API with new features, performance enhancements, and bug fixes to offer the best experience to Alexa users. These changes may result in the transmission of new directives or new properties in the JSON, while maintaining backward compatibility for existing directives and properties. For additional information, see Interaction Model.

The following list includes the current version, previous version, and migration guide.

Current Version

Previous Version

Need Help?

If you have any questions, comments, or encounter issues with the AVS API, please leverage the AVS Knowledge Base and Forum where we will actively monitor and respond to developer feedback and concerns.