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Amazon Introduces New APIs and SDKs for Alexa Skill Development

MMS Founder
MMS Sergio De Simone

Article originally posted on InfoQ. Visit InfoQ

At Alexa Live 2022, Amazon announced new APIs and SDKs for Alexa skill developers, including the Alexa Ambient Home Dev Kit, the Alexa Connect Kit SDK for Matter, Universal Device Commands, and more.

The Alexa Ambient Home Dev Kit is a collection of APIs and services aimed to provide a unified experience to Alexa users. The first five APIs in the Kit are Home State, which include support for learning about customers’ preferences for sleep, time, dinner, and so on; Safety & Security, which extends Alexa Guard‘s capabilities leveraging sound event detection, such as smoke alarms, etc; Credentials, aimed to simplify credential input; Device and Group Organization, and Multi-admin Simple Setup for Matter.

The Alexa Connect Kit SDK for Matter extends Alexa Connect Kit to Matter-compatible devices. Alexa Connect Kit (ACK) is a service that aims to make it easier to integrate Alexa within other products. Instead of writing an Alexa skill, managing a cloud server, etc., to integrate Alexa capabilities into a new product, you can integrate an ACK hardware module in your product that will provide Alexa capabilities. The Alexa Connect Kit SDK for Matter brings the benefits of ACK to devices supporting the Matter Wi-Fi connectivity standard, supporting cloud connectivity, over-the-air updates, and more.

Universal Device Commands (UDCs) and Agent Transfers (ATs) are directed to device makers that aim to simplify interaction when multiple voice services are available on the same device. With UDCs, customers may utter a command using any wake word recognized by any compatible voice service and have their command executed by the corresponding service. Using ATs, instead, voice services will be able to transfer any customer request they cannot fulfill to a different voice service.

As a final note, Amazon introduced the Alexa Voice Service SDK 3.0, which combines the Alexa Smart Screen SDK and the AVS Device SDK. While this new SDK does not bring any new features in themselves, it can make it easier for device makers to support Alexa in their products thanks to unified templates and configuration.

There is much more to Alexa features announced at Alexa Live 2022 than what can be covered here, including new monetization options for developers through the Alexa Shopping Kit and Alexa Skill SDK, so do not miss the official round-up for the full detail.

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