Alexa can play smart home camera video recaps on Echo, Fire devices

As of today, Amazon Alexa devices with displays can play video stream recaps from select smart home cameras, Amazon announced.

Alexa customers in the U.S. who have home security cameras from Ring, August, Arlo, Cloud Cam, and Logitech can view camera history feeds on Echo Show, Echo Spot, Fire TV, and Fire Tablets.

With one of the supported cameras, you can say, “Alexa, show the event that just happened at the front door” to see the most recently recorded video from that camera.

You can also say, “Alexa, show the latest event from the [add your configured camera name].”

Whether you configure your Alexa-connected cameras by location, camera name, a number, or whatever, the last clip will play on your Alexa-compatible display in response to either of the requests above.

If you have an Alexa-compatible smart home security camera that isn’t among the list of those already supported, you may need to wait a few days before the new feature is included. Amazon’s Alexa skill development team added the Cameras Recap API (application programming interface) to the Smart Home Skill API so developers can enable the video history feature for additional cameras today.

Alexa doesn’t store the video files from smart home cameras, just the media metadata, which is the equivalent of a table of contents entry or a restaurant menu item. When a customer asks to see a specific video recap from a specified camera, the video’s availability depends on the smart home camera’s storage features. If, for example, your camera stores events from the last seven days, you won’t be able to review footage from eight days ago. Cameras may also have various subscription models that limit access based on time or storage capacity.

In the future, Amazon plans to make the video feed replay feature “even more useful and delightful for customers.”

Developers in the U.S. get the first crack at the new Alexa skills feature, but Amazon plans to add support for international locations soon.

If you are a developer or are working with the Alexa Skills Kit, you have to use the Smart Home Skill API V3 (version 3). The V3 authentication model gives your skills the ability to send asynchronous events to Alexa.

There are additional smart home camera security and performance requirements to work with camera feed skill. Those requirements and additional information for creating Alexa skills are on the Alexa developer’s blog.

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