Amazon introduces APIs to connect smart cameras and doorbells to Echo devices
Amazon has released three new APIs for connected security cameras and doorbells to work more closely with its voice assistant Alexa.
The Doorbell Event Source API enables voice announcements on all Echo devices, to alert homeowners about visitors or to broadcast messages.
The Motion Sensor API reports the state of an endpoint that senses movement in a given area. For instance, the Echo speakers may start to play music or announcements, or turn on lights when a sensor detects motion. Homeowners will be able to customize announcements of these two APIs using the Routines feature from the Alexa app. Amazon said that doorbell maker Ring and smart lock company August have implemented these new APIs.
The other new API is called Alexa.RTCSessionController, which enables smart cameras and doorbells to establish a two-way communication with Echo devices with a screen – the Echo Show and the Echo Spot.
However, this API doesn’t support all smart security cameras. Only WebRTC-compliant cameras or 3Ps which use a WebRTC bridge to connect to Alexa are supported. As for half-duplex cameras that cannot process Alexa voice commands, they will need to use the push-to-talk capability on the Echo devices.
Ring has implemented the Alexa.RTCSessionController API while August is also working on it, Amazon noted. The three new APIs are now available to developers in the U.S., and are “coming soon” to other regions.
Amazon has been active in bringing new Alexa features to voice-skill developers. Earlier this month, it announced skill connections for Alexa, which lets third-party Alexa skills on talk and work with one another.