To most, Alexa is the voice that lives inside an Amazon Echo device or an app. To developers, Alexa is a software that allows their services or products to be easily controlled by consumers. However, developers once had a huge problem, getting Alexa and their product or service to communicate with each other. Amazon solved that issue by introducing, Alexa Skills Kit. Using Alexa Skills Kits, developers and manufacturers can help consumers build their smart homes with an Echo device as the epicenter. A perfect example of Alexa Skills Kits at work is with Samsung SmartThings.
Samsung SmartThings is a collection of smart home devices that communicate with each other with a little help from Alexa Skills Kit.
An Alexa Skill
When Alexa performs a task that’s known as a skill. Users can enable skills through the Alexa app on their smart devices. For example, if you want Alexa to turn on your light you’d need to enable the skill in the app first. There are more than 15,000 skills that Alexa can complete and the list is always growing. As developers and manufacturers continue to grow their products list, new skills are becoming necessary.
Samsung has been a big part of helping consumers adjust to a smart home lifestyle. One of the most integral parts of building a smart home is the Smart Hub. A smart hub is a device that provides the internet to smart devices all around your house. Think of it this way, a radio satellite transmits a radio signal. That signal is then translated by a stereo antenna and played over the speakers. Smart hubs are essentially the satellite that sends out an internet signal that can be translated by the antenna of the smart device in your home.
Alexa and Samsung SmartThings
Using Alexa Skills, a user can talk to their smart device. The problem is, some devices speak a different language. This is where a smart hub comes in handy, like the Samsung SmartThings Hub. The list of devices in the Samsung SmartThings family all speak one language, while consumers speak another. Alexa will hear your command, translate it to a digital voice, send it to the smart hub and the smart hub will send it to the device that needs to hear it. This all happens in the matter of a second and it’s truly amazing.
Alexa Skills Kit
To get all of the above to work properly, developers need to fully understand the process and speak both languages. In fact, it’s the developer who writes the translation book for Alexa to understand. Luckily, Amazon has a tool that can help developers make those translations possible and that tool is known as Alexa Skills Kit. The Skills Kit comes with the needed APIs, code samples and more that developers need to make their product easy to use for consumers. The SKills Kit can be found on Amazon’s website and it’s free to use. In fact, even if you’re not a professional developer but want to make a skill, you can use the same templates and watch the same tutorials. Knowing how to build a skill with the help of Amazon is the perfect way to build and develop a product or service that everyone will enjoy using.