Updates to Alexa Skills Kit for Echo Show
Written by Sue Gee   
Thursday, 29 June 2017

As the Echo show starts to ship in the US, Amazon has updated the Alexa Skills Kit to build skills for the display and video interfaces on Echo Show. Alexa can already control the display of live video feed from smart home cameras using the Smart Home Skill API.

The Echo Show, announced in May, is a $229 voice controlled speaker with a 7-inch touchscreen. Having no keyboard and no mouse, the primary input is voice, with touch available for picking from lists. Out of the box, Echo Show will respond to requests to see photos, watch videos, review lists and the news briefing can come as an audiovisual feed rather than just a spoken one.




By combining Echo Show a cloud-enabled camera, customers can make requests like: “Alexa, show me the front door camera,” when they hear someone knocking, or “Alexa, show me the baby’s room,” to check on a sleeping infant.

Amazon has now released updates to the Alexa Skills Kit so that developers can build their own skills for the Echo Show's  display and video interfaces.

According to David Isbitski writing on Alexa Blog:

When you build a skill, you can now choose from several display templates that enable enhanced visual capabilities, including video streaming. These templates are designed using best practices and cover common scenarios such as displaying items in a list and selecting a particular item, both with your voice and touch. 

He points out the ability to stream videos using the new video app interfaces in the Alexa Skills Kit. Users simply provide access to their video content and the video interface will render video on the device, allowing control of playback using both voice and touch.




Last week Jeff Blankenburg announced that the Smart Home Skill API, which had been restricted to companies including Ring, Arlo, Nest, Logitech, and IC Realtime was now available to all Alexa skill developers in the US These companies had already built skills for Echo Show. For example, with the Ring Alexa skill customers don’t have to take out their phones and open the Ring app to see their camera feed. Instead with Echo Show, they can instantly connect to their Ring video doorbell using voice, as explained in this video.



As the Smart Home Skill API uses Amazon’s standardized Alexa language model, devs won’t need to build the voice interaction model for their camera skills. Alexa will understand the customer’s speech, convert it to a directive, and send that directive to the skill adapter which will return the video feed URI from the requested camera. The URI is then passed to the Echo Show device so it can directly display the video. 



More Information

Build Skills for Echo Show: New Alexa Skills Kit Features for Display and Video Interfaces 

Introducing Smart Home Camera Control with Alexa

Related Articles

Amazon Echo Show - Voice Done Right


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 June 2017 )