Mar 3 2017

Alexa Skills Challenge

Dependency summary: git, npm, nodejs, Github account, Amazon developer account, Amazon AWS account

Amazon has an online challenge to compete with Google for voice services. At you can register with your Github account for a submission and win prizes up to $5,000 including devices. Subsequently, register a development account or login. Here you can find a:

To be able to develop skills for free it is easiest to use AWS. Yes, we are delving into the Amazon ecosystem!

This is not really, really required, but Amazon has to reach the beautiful code you are gonna to write somehow.

Clone the Alexa Skills sdk:

git clone [email protected]:alexa/alexa-skills-kit-sdk-for-nodejs

Just a quick note on the side, if you want to copy something from vim, you can use V to switch to visual mode and then :'<,'>:w !xclip -se c to copy it to clipboard.

In this case we want to create a so-called:

Alexa Smart Home Ecosystem

As explained at this page the smart-home skill is less complicated than the custom skill because Amazon defines the interaction model. There are the following device directives:

  • turn on / turn off
  • increase / decrease
  • dim

Besides that, Amazon also defines the words the user can use to initiate these directives. How the Crownstone reacts upon one of these requests is the content of the nodejs server and is called a skill adapter.

Amazon did not include directives to e.g. read out the power consumption of a device, turn on groups of devices, have devices turn on or off after a certain period, or other more sophisticated requests.

At Amazon pick the right region, Ireland for English skills in Europe:

Configure an Alexa Smart Home trigger:

03 March 2017

Crownstones now available at the shop.