Amazon today announced the general availability of multi-capability skills for Alexa, a way to combine smart home and custom Alexa apps into individual, unified voice apps. Starting this week, developers will be able to publish and maintain an Alexa app that enables both the Internet of Things and third-party features for their devices, and extends built-in smart home commands with custom voice interaction models to support almost all features without customers to force and activate Call two separate apps.
Before the advent of multi-capability, Alexa developers had to publish and wait for multiple apps to activate custom features: a smart home app to take advantage of built-in smart home features and a custom app to support features that are not included in the Alexa Smart Home API. Now they don't – and customers no longer have to remember two different app names. In this way, multi-capability capabilities make it easier for developers to create better Alexa experiences. For example, you could use Alexa’s utterance support to create an app that commands "Alexa, please Roomba to vacuum the kitchen" and "Alexa, ask this ability" What can this device do? "Recognizes.
According to Amazon, Dyson has already developed a multi-capability capability that allows customers to interact more naturally with their devices using commands such as "Alexa, set fan speed to 5" and "Alexa, set oscillation to wide angle". Setting night and sleep modes in theirs routines programmed by Alexa. For its part, TP-Link used multi-capability skills to enable Alexa users in the USA with compatible TP-Link routers to access advanced functions in a single app, e.g. B. control over the Internet access via the connected devices of a household (eg "Alexa, Internet break for Timmy's iPad" or "Alexa, please activate TP-Link to activate game mode").
Developers with existing Alexa apps can update these apps via the Alexa Developer Console as part of the configuration workflow, or add base apps using the Alexa Developer Console models. Alternatively, they can create multi-capability capabilities for live app development to test support for advanced features before submitting the app (or apps) for certification.
There's a reason why Amazon spends time and attention integrating smart home devices. Deliveries of smart home devices are expected to increase 26.9% year-on-year to 832.7 million units by 2020 and 1.6 billion units by 2023. And of the 75% of respondents to a recent Dashbot survey who use voice assistants like Alexa, at least once a day, 23% say they use their assistant to control smart home devices. Of this group, 63% tap assistants for home automation several times a day.
Amazon also announced this week that it is expanding the ways that Alexa developers can use voice profiles in their apps with the People Profile API. Apps that use Alexa voice profiles can now include contact information, such as full names, first names, and cell phone numbers, to personalize the voice assistant's interaction with users. "(W) When a customer's voice is recognized, (apps) can ask the customer for permission to access certain contact information and further personalize their experience," Amazon explains in a blog entry. “For example, a game (an app) can request that the customer name be included in a global ranking. In addition, a grocery delivery (app) can request the customer to send updates on the status of the grocery delivery using their cell phone number. "
The person profile API remains in the preview for now. Developers can request to personalize their app experiences by completing a short survey;; Amazon notifies the selected people.
In somewhat related news, Alexa on Fire TV devices supports now Additional commands for selected third-party apps, including Netflix and YouTube. Alexa can control the playback of clips, TV shows and films with phrases like "Alexa, 30 minutes forward" and "Alexa, rewind 20 seconds" and searches for apps like Disney +, JioCinema, Apple TV +, MX Player TV, Eros and Viu .