App developers can now suggest Alexa Routines for you


At a developer event, Amazon is offering tools that will allow developers to create Alexa Routines and deliver them to users. With user permission, they can use the Alexa Ambient Home SDK to integrate their devices and services with other products more seamlessly.

For example, they might suggest a routine that instructs a robot vacuum to get to work after leaving the house and arming your security system. The SDK will also allow changes made in one application to be replicated elsewhere. So if you rename a room in the app you use to control your smart lights, Alexa and other compatible connected services can also automatically update the room name on their end.

Another set of APIs are home states for scenarios such as Home, Vacation, Dinnertime, and Sleep. Modes and settings can sync across devices and services depending on the situation. So when you go to bed, the home status feature can make sure some electronics turn off, the doors lock (it’s not already), and the thermostat adjusts the temperature to your preferred night setting.

Allowing companies to create routines could both save consumers time and open their eyes to some smart home possibilities they might not have considered before. says there are now over 300 million smart home devices that people have connected to Alexa, so there are plenty of opportunities to improve or streamline people’s lives. That is, as long as they are willing to trust Amazon, a company that has a knack when it comes to . While Amazon laid out more of its vision for the “ambient home” at the event, it said it has years to go before it’s made a reality.

Other announcements made by the company include more ways to play well with alternative voice assistants. Universal Device Commands (UDC) and Agent Transfers (AT) will allow simultaneous wake words on the same device, so it can support multiple voice assistants. With UDCs, developers will be able to let users issue a command “using the wake word of any compatible voice service, even if the service was not originally used to initiate the request.” If a voice service cannot process a request, it can be transferred to another assistant via the ATs. Amazon expects both features to be cloud-enabled within the next 12 months. Additionally, some Skullcandy headphones will be able to manage Alexa and simultaneously.

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