We’re excited to announce the availability of the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit (Beta), allowing you to build your very own Alexa Gadgets — fun and delightful accessories that pair to compatible Echo devices via Bluetooth. Alexa Gadgets extend Alexa’s capabilities to new modalities with motors, lights, sound chips, and more.
With the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit, you can build on what customers already love about Alexa, whether it’s responding with requested information from across the room, setting reminders, or playing music. Now, you can extend these same capabilities to gadget devices, and manifest customer interactions with Alexa in a variety of physical forms. For example, create a disco ball that sparkles the room with light when a customer asks Alexa a question, or a robot that lip syncs to things Alexa says. The possibilities for designing customer enjoyment are infinite. Early adopters including Hasbro, WowWee Group Limited, Gemmy Industries, Baby Plus®, TOMY International, Novalia, and eKids (an affiliate of iHome), are already working to deliver customer entertainment using the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit.
The Alexa Gadgets Toolkit offers self-service APIs, including Gadget Interfaces that expose metadata of Alexa’s capabilities on compatible Echo devices. It also includes technical documentation and sample code that facilitate direct pairing and connectivity, communication, and over-the-air (OTA) updates between your gadget and its paired Echo device. Start building today without requiring advanced processors, microphone and audio processing, or device cloud management.
With the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit and technical documentation, you can build an Alexa Gadget that uses one or more of our list of Gadget Interfaces. The list of available interfaces will continue to grow, but for now, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Wake Word Detection: Respond when the wake word is detected, such a cuckoo clock that pops its head out whenever a customer says, “Alexa”
- Speech: Sync movement to text-to-speech, such as a robot that lip syncs as Alexa reads the local weather report
- Notifications: Respond to notifications, such as a flag that raises each time a notification is received
- Timers: Respond when a timer has expired, such as an outdoor gong that chimes when backyard playtime timer has concluded
- Alarms: Respond when an alarm has been triggered, such as a switch that releases dog food each time an alarm has expired
- Reminders: Respond when a pre-set reminder has gone off, such as a pill box that plays a short tune and flashes an array of colors when it’s time for daily vitamins
- Music (Coming Soon): Create visual performances with music, such as a hula girl that sways her hips when songs are playing on Amazon Music
The first products to take advantage of the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit will be available to consumers later this year, including a variety of dancing plush animatronics and an updated Big Mouth Billy Bass from Gemmy Industries. Each uses the available Gadget Interfaces to deliver amusing reactions as customers interact with Alexa.
More to Come: Alexa Gadgets for Kids
Later this year, we will unlock additional opportunities for you to extend the fun and entertainment of Alexa Gadgets for the whole family to enjoy, including the little ones. For the first time, developers will be able to create gadgets for kids that are accompanied by compatible kid skills.
Several global play and entertainment companies have been working on Alexa Gadgets concepts for kids. You can sign up to be notified when these products are available on Amazon.com. Here’s what our developers are saying, along with a sneak peek of upcoming products:
- Hasbro: “Our mission to create the world’s best play experiences requires us to reach audiences where they are today and where they’re going in the future. We’re excited about the possibilities to bring our brands and characters to life through Alexa Gadgets, and see great potential for more immersive play with this technology,” says Brian Chapman, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Design and Development, Hasbro.
- TOMY International: “Our objective is to develop products that make families’ lives easier, while also incorporating technologies that promote convenience. We are thrilled to work with Alexa Gadgets to offer parents the benefits of hands-free, voice-activated assistance with our products as they navigate through their children’s first years,” says Vincent D’Alleva, Chief Brand and Commercial Officer, TOMY International.
- WowWee Group Limited: BRUSHBOTS are smart toothbrushes that encourage the correct dentist-approved brushing technique. Through lights, sound effects and gameplay, BRUSHBOTS sense and measure motion and timing to help kids not only brush correctly – but have fun doing it! “BRUSHBOTS’ proprietary sensing technology transforms brushing into an entertainment experience for kids everywhere. With Alexa's unique capabilities, the gameplay possibilities for BRUSHBOTS are limitless," says Davin Sufer, Chief Technology Officer, WowWee Group Limited.
- BabyPlus®: Waddles the Smart DuckTM lends a helping hand to parents when they need it most, from bath-time to nap-time. Parents will love the convenience of hands-free control in the nursery and streaming music from any room. “Waddles was inspired by new parents who need versatile products for every stage of their parenting journey. We knew we needed a universally beloved figure and the rubber duck was an obvious choice and the perfect vessel for the next generation of nursery smart gadgets. And now, we are excited to bring the fun to Alexa,” says Matt MacBeth, CTO, BabyPlus.
- Novalia: Touchscapes is an interactive touch sensitive table mat that helps your child learn through immersive play. “We have dreamed of creating experiences with Alexa for years. Through Alexa Gadgets, this magical soundscape and immersive experience is finally possible for our products!” says Kate Stone, Founder and CEO, Novalia, an Alexa Accelerator company.
Keep in Touch: Sign Up for Alexa Gadgets Updates
The Alexa Gadgets Toolkit is currently available in the US, UK, and Germany. Start building your own Alexa Gadget and sign up to receive the latest updates on the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit and upcoming features. We can’t wait to see what you build!
Source: Alexa Developer Blog