Amazon makes it simpler for smart home devices to inform customers about low supply levels

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Besides all the Alexa-powered consumer devices Amazon introduced recently, the company also revealed a new set of tools.

These new tools are exclusively for the makers of smart home device skills that will enable them to tap into Alexa to re-order their supplies. 

Consider things like printer ink, air filters for thermostats, soap for washing machines, or anything else that has replaceable parts.

More Details About Amazon’s New Venture

This is a space Amazon has focused on before, through the Dash Replenishment Service, or DRS. 

Devices that utilize the service’s APIs can automatically re-order their supplies after a consumer sets up their account and selects the product they want to be shipped when they run low.

The current set of tools is an addition to that earlier service, as it will let the device makers inform their customers that they are low on necessary supplies using Alexa’s skills.

This will work with a new set of inventory sensors, expected to begin soon, in Amazon’s Smart Home Skill API. 

There are three separate types of sensors to choose from, depending on the device’s requirements.

Introducing The “Alexa.InventoryLevelSensor”

The first to come sometime later this year is the Alexa.InventoryLevelSensor. 

This will approach the needs of devices where the consumable product is stored internally — for example, batteries in smart cameras or the printer’s ink.

Next year, two more sensors will be launched. 

The Alexa.InventoryUsageSensor will operate when the product is not stored internally.

But the device can discover when a certain amount of consumable inventory is used. 

In this case, good examples would involve a smart coffee pot, washing machine, or dishwasher.

Alexa.InventoryLevelUsageSensor can be applied when the consumable product is collected internally, and the device can inform on its usage, preferably than its current state. 

For example, a smart thermostat could inform the fan time to let customers know that it’s time to change the air filter. 

Or a vacuum cleaner could warn customers to replace the dust bag.

The Objective of these APIs

Through these APIs, Alexa can assist the customers in managing their household supplies by letting them know that they are low.

Plus, it accommodates them to set up automatic re-orders in the Alexa app.

Amazon states that all U.S. developers will be equipped to use the new inventory sensors shortly.

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