- How are Enterprises using Amazon Alexa connectivity?
Amazon’s Alexa is a cloud-based voice recognition service API that can answer questions and enable next generation voice enabled IoT ecosystem. Amazon uses “Echo” to refer to the hardware that is connected to Alexa Service. The list of things Amazon’s Alexa service can do is growing beyond imagination, and currently, it includes alarms and timers, checking for weather and sports, reading news headlines of the day, streaming music and answering general questions with searches on Bing and Wikipedia. Beyond these native abilities, this virtual assistant can also be trained with new skills for managing other connected devices, and services. All these abilities need to be done through voice commands that follow the same basic setup.
The integration has gone mainstream enabling businesses and makers of any kind of connected device to put Alexa’s brain in their product or service to achieve business advantage and manage operations with improved workflows and reduced time. Thus, enterprises and device manufacturers are incorporating Alexa connectivity, which provides intelligent, scalable and error-prone voice user interface.
- How can you control IoT End Device using Alexa voice interface?
Alexa Skills Kit SDK is the principle extensible instrument of Amazon Echo and one of the viewpoints that separate the stage from other conversational interface arrangements. Utilizing the SDK, engineers can create new voice commands that co-operate with Web Services or AWS Lambda functions to perform the task with voice command. From broadening SaaS frameworks with voice interfaces or streamlining existing business forms utilizing voice commands, the Alexa Skills Kit gives the model that adapts Amazon Echo in big business situations.
- 5 Steps to integrate Alexa in your IoT ecosystem using VOLANSYS Modular IoT Gateway:
Step 1: Use Amazon Echo through which user can send voice command to Alexa.
Step 2: Create skills set for the users to interact with their cloud-connected devices via voice. (skills such as turn on or off lights). Send a voice command via Echo or Mobile Application, which will work through its functionalities also known as Alexa skill Set. Each skill set is linked with an Alexa API for that particular command.
Step 3: Alexa API composes a message which is sent to the AWS lambda where the voice is processed and confirms the action. The lambda function communicates desired action to the device cloud i.e VOLANSYS Modular IoT Gateway Cloud.
Step 4: The device’s cloud i.e VOLANSYS Modular IoT Gateway Cloud, interprets the message and signals the device to turn on or off.
Step 5: A message is sent back to the Skills API whether it was successful or not. Alexa uses this response to provide feedback to the user.
A Large number of IoT end devices can be securely connected through an IoT Gateway to perform varied IoT applications like facilities management and asset management for industries such as buildings, retail, automotive and more. The integration of Amazon Alexa with VOLANSYS’ Modular IoT Gateway will establish a suitable solution for the enterprise and deliver following benefits:
- Intelligent Voice Control: This integration will add new input capabilities to manage consumer appliances, office equipment, such as conferencing systems, as well as in the medical facilities where operations could benefit from touch-free voice control. The amalgamation has given the smoothest means to take advantage of voice—a natural evolution in the control of IoT products, i.e. instead of opening apps on the smartphones, one can obtain information or control environments with voices.
- Secured IoT Ecosystem: Amazon Alexa features are limited when it comes to security, management, and application delivery, but its collaboration with modular IoT Gateways will help the users with a stringent network security requirements to protect the user and system data through encrypted wireless communications which prevent unauthorized access, as well as an interception, man-in-the-middle and replay attacks.
- Seamless connection with multiple IoT-enabled devices from one Echo device: Gateway will help establish an end-to-end wireless voice communication between the user and the devices. The modular design of VOLANSYS provides the flexibility to connect and manage up to 40+ devices in IoT solutions for industries ranging from Home, Building, Manufacturing, HealthCare, Transportation and others.
- Real-world Implementation:
Starbucks has aggressively pushed its mobile ordering platform in the last year attempting to get fewer people standing in line and more ordering directly from their phones for a seamless pickup. The next level of that expansion is voice-only ordering, which Starbucks is now rolling out on iOS and will hit Android soon. At the same time, Starbucks is pushing into the oh-so-popular Amazon Echo with the ability to order drinks directly from the connected speaker.
The ability to walk through the ordering process with your voice may not seem that appealing when you can just order on the same on phone (and probably quicker) by tapping a few buttons, but with the Amazon Echo that isn’t an option. With a new “Starbucks Reorder” skill on the Echo, you’ll be able to order your “usual” drink on the speaker by simply saying “[Alexa,] order my Starbucks” and have it dispatched to your store of choice right away. This could be useful to shout as you’re walking out the door with your hands full, so long as your local Starbucks is only a few minutes away — otherwise you’ll be coming up to a cold drink when you drive up 15 minutes later.
About Author: Viral Chavda
Viral Chavda works as a Sr. Team Lead and looks after Technical execution of IoT, Wearables, and Linux/Android SDK. He also serves multiple customers in IoT, Wearables and Linux/Android domain from product idea to realization.