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What Is the Amazon Alexa Connect Kit (and What Does It Mean for Your Business)?

Bluefin Technology Partners uses the Amazon Alexa Connect Kit (ACK) to develop and launch smart and connected products or add Alexa capabilities to existing products. In doing so, we can integrate Alexa capabilities into virtually any product — which can have far-flung effects on your business and its customers.

ACK is a difference-maker for businesses that want to drive customer engagement, grow their revenues, and more. To understand the value of ACK, let's answer six questions about the kit.

What Is the Amazon Alexa Connect Kit?

ACK is a managed service that lets us build smart and connected products at a fixed per-device cost. Products built with ACK offer Alexa control via voice and mobile applications, so your customers can use your product to seamlessly engage with your brand. Plus, thanks to ACK, we don't have to write an Alexa skill, manage a cloud service, create a mobile application, or develop complex network and security firmware to connect your product to Alexa.

How Do You Integrate ACK into a Product?

ACK makes it easy for us to quickly design and build a smart and connected product for your business. The first step is to prototype with the ACK development kit. The ACK dev kit allows you to run an Amazon custom Communications and Processing Module, which provides the network services needed to communicate between your device and the AWS Cloud. Currently, Amazon provides two alternatives for this ACK Module: one from Espressif, and the other from USI.

Next, using a host controller or MCU (currently offered from Nuvoton or ST Micro), we integrate Alexa capabilities into your device using the ACK module and device software development kit (SDK).

After running your product design through a series of small batch manufacturing, unit tests, and validations, we prepare it for certification to Amazon and FCC standards. This includes leveraging Amazon’s Frustration Free Setup (FFS) and Zero Touch Setup (ZTS).

Finally, when you're ready, we assist you in moving your finalized design and smart and connected product to volume manufacturing.

How Can ACK Benefit Your Business?

In addition to a fast, seamless design and development process, ACK offers cost certainty for your smart and connected product. With ACK, you pay a low per-device fee that accounts for both the hardware module and ongoing use of the ACK cloud service. When comparing these one-time costs to the ongoing development, maintenance, and support costs of a custom app, cloud, and support infrastructure, many organizations quickly realize the economic benefit of ACK and its ability to enable products across all ranges of MSRP.

How Can ACK Benefit Your Customers?

ACK lets you make nearly any device a smart and connected device. As such, your customers can use their voice to control your smart and connected product, resulting in unprecedented experiences. With native support for FFS and ZTS, customers can unbox your product and be up and running in seconds. By leveraging the Alexa mobile application and voice control, ACK provides a familiar interface for users.

Can You Really Make Any Product Smart and Connected with ACK?  

ACK opens a world of possibilities for businesses that want to enhance their current products or launch new products. If you have an idea for a smart and connected product, let us know, and we can help you realize your vision. Or, if you are unsure about how to integrate Alexa capabilities into your existing product line, we're happy to help you brainstorm ideas and determine the best course of action to make your products smart and connected.  

Why Should You Choose Bluefin to Build Smart and Connected Products for Your Business?

Bluefin applies a proven process to validate, design, and develop smart and connected products and systems. That way, we can help you build a smart and connected product that bridges the gap between physical and digital worlds.

We are happy to teach you about ACK and help you launch a smart and connected product that features Alexa capabilities. To learn more or to request a free consultation, please contact us today.