Alexa learns to cook via the Smart Home Skill API

An update to Amazon’s Smart Home Skill API has introduced support for Alexa to control a range of cooking devices.

The new capabilities will enable Alexa to control kitchen devices including microwaves and conventional ovens. Support for the former is available today, while for ovens is said to be coming soon.

Users of apps...

By Ryan Daws, 05 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, API.

Sumerian helps developers build AR, VR, and 3D apps in Amazon’s cloud

Sumerian is a new service from Amazon which aims to help developers build AR, VR, and 3D applications in AWS.

The low-code tool offers a point-and-click user interface for building scenes and applications which should help to make AR and VR development more accessible without the need for years of coding and design experience.

Sumerian has a built-in library of pre-built assets and templates, but users can...

By Ryan Daws, 27 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, Cloud, Development Tools, VR.

Developers can now migrate their Lex chatbots to Alexa

Amazon has rolled out the ability for developers to migrate their chatbots based on the Lex framework into a skill for Alexa.

Jeff Bezos' company is a story of successes. Amazon’s line of smart speakers, Echo, are by far the most popular on the market and can join the company’s long list of achievements.

The AI powering these speakers, Alexa, may be lackluster in some areas, but its capabilities are going from...

By Ryan Daws, 08 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, Development Tools, Platforms.

Got engaging Alexa skills? Amazon will now reward your efforts

Amazon has announced that developers ‘of eligible skills’ in Alexa, the company’s personal assistant software, will be remunerated under a new program.

The initiative, available to developers with the highest customer engagement in the US, UK and Germany, is through six new categories: education and reference, food and drink, health and fitness, lifestyle, music and audio, and productivity.

Amazon had previously been rewarding top game developers with a program rolled out in May, while...

By James Bourne, 21 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, API, Development Tools.

Skills for Alexa will soon push notifications to devices

Skills for Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa will soon be able to send push notifications to supported devices.

The notifications could alert users to new content available on their Echo or other Alexa-supported devices with a chime and pulsing green light. Announced this morning, Washington Post, Life360, JustEat, and AccuWeather will be among the first four skills with the ability to push notifications to users who opt-in to receive alerts (which can be done on a skill-by-skill basis.)

In the...

By Ryan Daws, 17 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, IoT, Platforms.

Amazon launches developer tools for Alexa gaming

(Image Credit: Amazon)

Amazon wants to improve Alexa's gaming prowess by introducing a new set of tools which makes it easier for developers to build related experiences. 

The impressive voice assistant has gone from strength-to-strength and is often seen as the leading AI for the smart home thanks to integrations with third party devices – the result of a burgeoning developer scene for Amazon's bestselling Echo device which features Alexa for interactions. 

Whilst most voice...

By Ryan Daws, 03 August 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, Development Tools, Gaming.

Amazon launches Dash-based programmable IoT button – sells out within a day

(Image Credit: Amazon)

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is popular, the IoT is hot, and when you combine the two in a product for developers it sells out within a day. 

Based on the single button 'Dash' hardware by Amazon – which has been used in the past to order items with a button press – the AWS IoT version is a "Limited Release Programmable Dash Button" for developers to get started with AWS IoT, AWS Lambda, Amazon...

By Ryan Daws, 17 May 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, Cloud, Devices, Hacking, IoT.

Alliance for Open Media will deliver next-generation media formats

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/sd619)

The web is based on a collection of standards which even Apple knows must be open in order to thrive. Several high-profile technology companies have formed a new alliance to create the next-generation of media streaming formats. 

Heavyweights including Netflix, Google, Amazon, Intel, Mozilla, Cisco, Microsoft, and more have partnered for the 'Alliance for Open Media' which hopes to...

By Ryan Daws, 02 September 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, HTML5, Industry, Microsoft.

Sky is the limit with Amazon's Cloud Drive API

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/zakokor)

Amazon's Cloud Drive API allows third-party developers to integrate the company's storage solution into their applications for users to do more with the masses of files placed into Amazon Web Services' vast amount of global servers.

The API is REST and provides the ability to create, read, and update documents in a Cloud Drive user's...

By Ryan Daws, 04 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, API, Cloud.