Amazon has announced the upcoming release of Alexa notification capability. Developers will soon be able to empower certain skills with notifications through the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) and Alexa Skills Kit (ASK). Once the functionality is available, Alexa users can opt-in to receive voice notifications automatically from Alexa on information of particular interest.
"Soon customers will be able to enable notifications for select skills and Amazon.com shopping updates on most devices with Alexa," Amazon's David Isbitski commented on Amazon's developer blog. "Companies like AccuWeather, The Washington Post, Just Eat, and Life360 will be among the first to update their skills with notifications, giving Alexa the capability to alert customers with information that's important to them."
Alexa users have become accustomed to asking the device for specific information, and getting a prompt response. For instance: "Alexa, what's the weather like today?" Alexa promptly delivers the weather report via an integrated third party like AccuWeather. But, what if Alexa could automatically tell you of upcoming severe weather conditions without the user requesting such information? With its recent announcement, Amazon has indicated that such functionality is soon to come.
For AVS, Amazon will first announce a developer preview for notifications via the AVS API. Device makers that utilize the API will need to update products to support the new directive. Once updated, the device will emit a sound and the LED, or on-screen equivalent, will turn on until the notification is read, deleted, or expired.
For ASK, developers will be able to add notifications to skills (weather updates, news alerts, order confirmations, etc.). Customers will need to opt-in to the feature, and Amazon encourages feedback through the Alexa App. The feedback will be incorporated into future development on the initiative.
The functionality is not yet available. Amazon has indicated that a select group of existing partners will be the first to integrate notifications. Those interested can sign up to be alerted when the feature becomes available.