Amazon has introduced a Door Lock API that allows internet-connected lock providers to enable their locks to lock and eventually unlock doors with Amazon Alexa. The Door Lock API is part of Amazon’s Alexa Skills Kit, a collection of APIs and tools that developers can use to add skills to Alexa, the voice-activated intelligent assistant that powers Echo. Last month, Amazon announced that the Alexa Skills Kit now has 10,000 skills available and the top categories of skills include news, gaming, and education/reference.
Introduced in June 2015, Amazon Skills Kit allows developers to create voice-activated skills for Amazon’s intelligent assistant Alexa. Examples of skills include playing music, looking up answers to basic questions, and setting an alarm or a timer. In April of last year, Amazon introduced the Smart Home Skill API which developers can use to teach Alexa to control internet-connected smart home devices such as lighting and thermostats.
Alexa Skills Kit supports three different types of skills; Custom, Smart Home, and Flash Briefing. Custom Skills are skills where the developer defines the requests the skills can handle (intents), the specific words users must say to initiate the requests, and the names Alexa uses to identify skills. Smart Home Skills are used by developers to build skills for controlling internet-connected smart home devices such as lighting and thermostats. Flashing Briefing Skills allow developers to build skills that provide content for a user’s flash briefing. A Flash Briefing provides users a quick overview of news, comedy, interviews, and other content a user enables in the skills sections of the Alexa application.
The Door Lock API is the latest API to be added to Amazon’s Alexa Skills Kit. At the time of this writing, the Door Lock API allows doors to be locked using Alexa voice commands, but not unlocked. Amazon is currently working on several safety and security protocols for the Door Lock API specifically for unlocking capabilities.
For more information about Amazon’s Alexa Skills Kit, visit the Amazon Developer website.