Amazon’s new APIs make your front porch smarter

Amazon has continued its smart home offensive with a set of new APIs for developers targeted at making our front porches smarter.

There are three new APIs in total – Doorbell Events Source API, Motion Sensor API, and 2-Way Communication API.

Each of their names gives away their use somewhat, but for a full breakdown:

  • Doorbell Events Source monitors for a doorbell press so a relevant action can be taken upon user interaction. The Doorbell Event Source endpoint is prompted by a press of the doorbell through the Doorbellpress event.
  • Motion Sensor is a similar idea but instead waits for motion to be detected. Alexa.MotionSensor is the endpoint used to act after motion is detected.
  • 2-Way Communication allows for both audio and video to be sent between devices. Currently, only WebRTC video feeds are supported. Amazon has partnered with Ring and August for initial support.

The new APIs appear primarily focused on increasing the functionality of smart displays. An example could be Hue lights switch on and video feed displayed from the front door on a smart display after the doorbell is rung or motion detected.

Amazon kicked off the smart display race with its Echo Show and Echo Spot devices, while main competitor Google followed with similar devices from its third-party partners.

Earlier this month, Google launched its own smart display called the Home Hub.

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