Today I’m sharing a 3/3/17 cross-post from Amazon’s Michael Palermo on the Amazon Developer Blog, announcing a new tool for Alexa Smart Home Skill Kit developers: Alexa Smart Home Lock Control & Query, for use with smart locks.
Today we are happy to announce lock control and query, a new feature in the Smart Home Skill API now available in the US, with support for the UK and Germany coming soon. This feature is supported with locks from August, Yale, and Schlage as well as hub support from SmartThings and Wink. Now any developer targeting devices with locking behavior can enable customers to issue a voice command such as, “Alexa, lock the front door.” In addition, developers can build in support for customers asking for the status of a smart locking device with a voice command such as, “Alexa, is the front door locked?”
Much like the recently announced thermostat query feature, the lock query feature simplifies development efforts by enabling specific voice interactive experiences straight from the Smart Home Skill API. This is accomplished under the new Alexa.ConnectedHome.Query namespace.
Developers can report errors using the same namespace. These errors are then used to guide the customer with the proper corrective actions. It’s crucial that developers return meaningful and correct errors so that customers can feel confident about the status of their locks. For example, if the smart locking device is unable to provide a stateful value because a door is open, developers should report this in their directive response as shown below.
For a listing of all error code types, see UnableToGetValueError.
For more technical details, review our documentation on lock control and query. To learn more about developing a smart home skill check out these resources:
- Understanding the Smart Home Skill API
- Five Steps Before Developing a Smart Home Skill
- Coding Smart Home Skill Directives Using Node.js
- Managing Device Discovery for Your Alexa Smart Home Skill
- Controlling the On/Off State of a Smart Home Device
- Scenes for Smart Home Home Skills
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