Amazon announced Friday (October 12) that it launched new doorbell APIs for smart home cameras and doorbells.
In a press release, the company said that by releasing new doorbell APIs, developers can create new scenarios in home automation and monitoring. “By updating your smart home skill to use either or both of the new Doorbell Event Source and Motion Sensor APIs, you can enable your customers to connect their doorbell press and camera motion sensors to Alexa,” wrote Amazon. The new additions to the Smart Home Skill API are available as of Friday in the U.S. Support for more countries is coming soon, Amazon noted.
According to Amazon, by using the new APIs, customers can turn on voice “Announcements” for your smart home camera or doorbell. Customers can also set up smart home automation using doorbell or motion events like turning on lights, playing music or custom announcements using Routines within the Alexa app. Amazon noted that Ring and August have implemented these new APIs so that customers can take advantage. In addition to the new two APIs, Amazon said it released the 2-Way Communication API that enables smart cameras and doorbells to establish a 2-way communication with Echo Show and Echo Spot. Amazon noted that Ring has already implemented the 2-way communication API, and it is coming soon with August. “We currently support only WebRTC compliant cameras or 3Ps who use a WebRTC bridge to connect to Alexa. Alexa voice commands are currently only available for full duplex cameras. Half duplex cameras will have push to talk capabilities on the Echo Show or Echo Spot,” Amazon said.
In late April Amazon rolled out a home security service offering that includes a consultant who will help with the installation of the smart home equipment Amazon is selling. TechCrunch reported at the time that the Seattle, Washington-based eCommerce giant quietly rolled out the new security service in select cities around the country. The news comes on the heels of various acquisitions and product launches in the home security space. The service is being offered with five pricing structures, targeting a wide range of customers. For instance, Amazon’s lowest-priced package at $240, the Outdoor Base, gives customers an Echo Dot along with indoor and outdoor lighting to make it look like someone is always home. The most expensive package includes an alarm siren, motion sensors, safety sensors, a camera and an Echo Dot, along with indoor and outdoor lighting and a video doorbell, for a price of $840. With all of the packages, customers get two visits from an Amazon representative who will help with installation of the security system.