Alexa is about to get smarter, and it’s all thanks to you. In an attempt to make the Echo’s virtual assistant even more helpful than ever before, Amazon has released a whole new set of open software meant to make it even easier for you to control your entire home through a single portal. It’s all part of the new Smart Home Skill API, the latest addition to the Alexa Skills Kit.
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With this new API (or application programming interface), makers of gadgets like smart lights, thermostats, and switches will be able to streamline their products to be compatible with Amazon’s home system. Hopefully, that means that you’ll soon be able to tell Alexa to do just about anything you want when it comes to your home — whether that’s turning up the heat, turning down the lights, or anything in between.
Ultimately, this means that third-party devices will work just as well with Alexa and the Echo as any native app — with the Smart Home Skill API, Alexa’s ecosystem will simply continue to grow wider (though there’s still room for improvement, as important devices like locks, garage doors, and even security systems aren’t yet supported by this particular API). That doesn’t mean you can’t pair them, however — you’ll just need invocation words, rather than just being to speak directly to Alexa.
For now, the new API doesn’t actually improve the functionality of Alexa’s device support. That means that you still can’t change the color of your lights by way of Alexa (though you can brighten or dim them). Regardless, the Echo team assures users that more use cases are coming soon, which means you’ll be able to do even more around the home without lifting a finger.
To check out the full range of possibilities now offered by Alexa, visit the Amazon’s Developer platform here.