Amazon will officially start shipping its latest Alexa device, the Echo Show, on June 28, 2017. Currently there are only a handful of skills that are optimized for the new interface including Allrecipes, Jeopardy, Uber, OpenTable, and CNN. Additionally, Ring and Arlo is ready to take advantage of new smart home camera capabilities like monitoring the front door or checking the baby nursery.
For other developers to take advantage of the new capabilities, new tools will be added to the Alexa Skills Kit. Those are:
Build Optimized Display and Video Interfaces. While your skills will work out of the box, we know that you may want to create visual experiences unique to Echo Show. You develop skills for Echo Show in the Alexa Skills Kit, just like you do for other Alexa devices with a screen today. When we introduce display interfaces in ASK later this summer, you’ll be able to choose from several GUI templates for your skill. You will also be able to stream videos on Echo Show using the new video player interfaces in the Alexa Skills Kit. You will simply provide a URL and other details of your video in your skill response. We’ll render the video on the device and allow customers to control the playback using both voice and touch interfaces.
Enable Customers to View Smart Home Cameras. With Echo Show customers can say “Alexa, show the baby’s room” and have the feed from an Internet connected camera, like Arlo, display on Echo Show. To support this, we are introducing cameras as part of the Smart Home Skill API. Because the Smart Home Skill API taps into Amazon’s standardized Alexa language model, you won’t need to build the voice interaction model for your camera skill. Alexa will understand the customer’s speech, convert it to directive, and send that directive to your skill adapter. Your skill adapter 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.
Amazon has not given an official release date for these new developer tools, but interested parties can go HERE and sign-up for an email notification of when the tools are ready.
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