How Alexa Integration Is Making Smart Homes More Powerful

How Alexa Integration Is Making Smart Homes More Powerful
Retail

Ayla Networks recently announced an enhanced suite of services leveraging the tool for Internet of Things manufacturers

Ido Lechner, Home Editor
  • 19 january 2017

Despite the explosive growth of smart products entering the market, the Internet of Things space still feels relatively disjointed. While numerous companies have stepped forward to pitch their IoT hubs as the future-forward solution for integrating multiple unaffiliated products into a singular, cohesive network, the fact that smart homes remain an artifact for early adopters means that most households simply don’t have a use for these connective tissues. For that reason, Amazon Alexa stands out from the crowd as a device which grows with the capacity of one’s home—while she certainly fulfills the role of a universal controller, it isn’t her only function, meaning she serves as a great foundational tool for homeowners looking to cultivate their smart homes over time. Coupled with the fact that Alexa is a voice-command-based utility, smarthomes immediately become an accessible climate to navigate for the elderly, small children, disabled persons or anyone for that matter.

Ahead of the curve, global IoT solutions provider Ayla Networks has recently announced support for Alexa’s Smart Home Skills. Perfect for manufacturers looking to simplify their user interface and diversify the platforms that integrate with their specific products, connected products running on the Ayla IoT can now seamlessly sync with Alexa for enhanced ease-of-use.

“By architecting an Alexa integration into our IoT platform, we are enabling manufactures that use the platform to go from zero to a completely functional Alexa voice-controlled product fast, and with little effort” says Ayla Networks’ co-founder, CTO, and VP of engineering Adrian Caceres in a press release.

“[Our fundamental approach is] to support IoT connections and functionality so that both manufactures and end users can benefit.”

Without having to write a line of code or running any servers, manufacturers can effortlessly implement their core product features simply by connecting and configuring their merchandise using the Ayla dashboard. While they’ll still need to certify their products with Alexa, Ayla does away with the more advanced technical issues (such as API integrations) in favor of an intuitive drag-and-drop template that lets creators map out the various compatible functionalities of their product in a matter of minutes. Here manufactures will be able to design appropriate responses to prompts such as ‘It’s too hot in here,’ or ‘dry my flannels for 30 minutes.’

As Alexa is an ever-evolving device, Ayla makes sure to parallel any new capabilities Amazon adds to maintain smooth-running and debugged functionality at any point in time. Any new updates at the cloud level will be made available to all connected product manufacturers regardless of how many commodities they’ve already synced to the network.

“While most IoT technology providers are still focused on issues of how to get connected to the IoT, Ayla is already addressing the big question: Now what? Think of this latest set of updates as building blocks enabling the next phase of IoT evolution—by helping manufacturers do useful things with IoT data generated by their connected products,” says Caceres.

These updates include: improved usability for smoother and faster deployment, user opt-in capabilities for end-user controlled integrations, data collection and exportation, data streaming services (DSS), dealership customization options and single sign-on access (SSO) for ease-of-use, with the latter three available only as premium features.

“Our goal is to stay one step ahead of what manufacturers need—so that whenever a manufacturer is ready to move to the next stage of IoT evolution, the Ayla platform is ready and waiting to help them get there,” concludes Caceres.

Ayla Networks

Despite the explosive growth of smart products entering the market, the Internet of Things space still feels relatively disjointed. While numerous companies have stepped forward to pitch their IoT hubs as the future-forward solution for integrating multiple unaffiliated products into a singular, cohesive network, the fact that smart homes remain an artifact for early adopters means that most households simply don’t have a use for these connective tissues. For that reason, Amazon Alexa stands out from the crowd as a device which grows with the capacity of one’s home—while she certainly fulfills the role of a universal controller, it isn’t her only function, meaning she serves as a great foundational tool for homeowners looking to cultivate their smart homes over time. Coupled with the fact that Alexa is a voice-command-based utility, smarthomes immediately become an accessible climate to navigate for the elderly, small children, disabled persons or anyone for that matter.

+Alexa
+data collection
+home
+Interview
+IoT
+retail
+Smart homes
+technology
+voice controlled

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