Amazon has begun previewing its Amazon Common Software for Devices (ACS), a tool designed to simplify launching devices that support Amazon Device software development kits. Internet of Things developers will be able to integrate standard functions like network connections and device management, and eventually Alexa voice assistant operations, with a single API instead of having to create a new system for every Amazon Device SDK.
Easy Amazon Integration
The idea behind ACS is to make it easier to integrate a new device into Amazon’s ecosystem of devices. The single API integration layer means that instead of building and testing for every SDK, a developer can merge connectivity, authentication, and other functions into one system. It’s the same software system used by Amazon products like the Echo Dot and Smart Oven. Right now, ACS offers the Frustration-Free Setup (FFS) and AWS IoT Device SDKs, but Amazon plans to add the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) Device SDK at some point in 2020.
“At Amazon, we understand the complexity and effort needed to develop and ship a high-quality connected device. ACS makes proven software from Amazon devices easier to use for device makers who want to quickly launch a device supporting Amazon Device SDKs, including FFS and AWS IoT SDKs,” ACS director Joshua Danovitz said in a statement. “Now, device makers can focus on launching devices with innovative new features while significantly speeding up development time using ACS.”
Amazon Devices for Alexa Homes
Streamlining the development of IoT device software has obvious appeal for the makers of such devices. A shorter time before it can get to market, and fewer technical resources needed for essential functions, are big selling points for developers. For Amazon, it’s another way to encourage developers to think in terms of an Amazon-based smart network. ACS ties into Amazon’s overall strategy for smart homes and making everything connected through its technology. The more developers choose to build IoT devices on Amazon’s framework, the easier it will be to get others to do so in the future. That Frustration-Free Setup is one of the first SDKs for ACS is appropriate as FFS is designed to make setting up a smart device as straightforward as plugging it in for consumers and ACS speeds up developer set-up.
Alexa is also central to Amazon’s goals in that regard, which is likely why the company would want developers to know that an Alexa SDK is in the works for ACS. In December, the company proudly announced that Alexa is supported by 100,000 smart home products built by 9,500 different brands, jumping 40,000 devices in just seven months. While that points to Alexa compatibility becoming a standard element, Amazon likely wants to make it even more of a default feature for companies building smart devices.