What is a Smart Home 'Skill'?
Skills are to Alexa what connections are to SimpleCommands. They are simply the way to enable communication between your Alexa and some other product or service you use.
What is the SimpleCommands Smart Home Skill?
The Smart Home Skill is Amazon's way of connecting all of your cloud-connected smart devices to your Alexa from a single location and enables companies like SimpleCommands to effectively utilize Alexa's voice capabilities in a semi-customizable way. This makes it easier to set up for users and developers. If you would like to know more about the Smart Home Skill, check out this article. Right now Smart Home Skills can only control lights, switches, plugs, thermostats, and doors/locks. We will add control for more devices as Alexa enables them.
How do I use the SimpleCommands skill?
After enabling the kloee for SC skill in your Alexa app you can control all of your Items, Favorites, Groups, and Triggers through your Amazon devices. Each request you give needs to have at least the following three parts:
- Alexa prompt, i.e. just say "Alexa"
- The SimpleName for the device you want to talk to. SimpleNames are the customizable alias you can give each of your Items. SimpleNames were designed with Alexa in mind. They allow you to use names that are easy to remember and say, making them easier to remember and easier to control your Favorites, and Groups via Alexa. If you haven't set a SimpleName for a device, it will default to the original item name.
- The action you want to do with that device, i.e. "turn on", "adjust brightness", etc. Please keep in mind that while Amazon does do a great job of understanding requests, you maybe have to frame requests in a specific format in order for them to be understood.
In essence, you can talk to your Alexa just as if you were telling your family or friend to flip a light switch or adjust the temperature.