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Ayla Networks, a global Internet of Things (IoT) platform for manufacturers, has added Amazon Alexa integration and support for Amazon Alexa’s Smart Home Skills to its Ayla IoT platform. This means that manufacturers with connected products running on the Ayla IoT cloud can very quickly and easily enable users to control IoT products using spoken commands through the Alexa voice service.

“By architecting an Alexa integration into our IoT platform, we are enabling manufacturers that use the platform to go from zero to a completely functional Alexa voice-controlled product fast, with little effort,” said Adrian Caceres, CTO, vice president of engineering and co-founder of Ayla Networks. “It’s just another example of Ayla’s fundamental approach to building our IoT platform, which is to do the hard work it takes to support IoT connections and functionality so that both manufacturers and end users can benefit.”

With the new Alexa integration, connected products using the Ayla IoT cloud can implement Alexa “Smart Home skills”—Alexa’s name for capabilities, analogous to apps—without manufacturers writing any code or running any servers on AWS. From a technical perspective, all manufacturers need to do is connect and configure their connected products using the Ayla dashboard.

“Manufacturers still have to certify their products through Alexa, of course, but they don’t have to worry about technical issues, APIs [application programming interfaces] or other coding,” said Caceres. “Using the Ayla platform provides manufacturers with the smoothest way to begin taking advantage of voice—a natural evolution in the control of IoT products.”

Voice control of IoT products is expected to be an important interface option for environments such as smart homes, especially as more products become connected. Instead of opening apps on their smartphones to control IoT products, users can simply speak commands or ask questions—for example, “It’s too hot in here”; “Wake me at 7:00 am”; “Dim the lights for my dinner party”; “What dryer cycle should I use for my flannel sheets?”—and the appropriate connected devices are adjusted or respond accordingly.

Ayla IoT Platform Architecture Eases Manufacturers’ Efforts

The new Alexa integration highlights the configurability, scalability and interoperability advantages built into the Ayla IoT platform.

Unlike other IoT technology approaches that require custom coding for every configuration change, the Ayla IoT platform uses templates—virtual representations of a connected product in the cloud—to map properties between the Ayla cloud and other clouds and services, such as Alexa. As a result, making changes to a configuration using the Ayla IoT platform takes only a few minutes.

Manufacturers using the Ayla IoT platform also do not need to worry about ongoing support for the Alexa integration. As with all the functionality and capabilities provided and supported by its IoT platform, Ayla makes sure that integrations are maintained and managed over time, and that API and other software code is maintained and debugged.

Importantly, updates, new functionality and other changes made at the Ayla IoT cloud level can be made available to all the IoT products on the Ayla IoT platform, regardless of the number of connected products.

Ayla representatives will be available to answer questions about the new Alexa integration during CES 2017, being held here January 5 to 8, 2017, in Booth #41160 at the Sands Expo Center. CES visitors can also learn more about the Ayla IoT platform, attend themed networking sessions and see innovative IoT products from leading manufacturers and service providers by registering to visit Ayla’s suite at Caesars Palace.

What else is IoT focused at CES? Visit our CES 2017 – IoT – Internet of Things page.