Learn programming for Alexa devices, extend it to smart home devices and control the Raspberry Pi
The book is split into two parts: the first part covers creating Alexa skills and the second part, designing Internet of Things and Smart Home devices using a Raspberry Pi.
The first chapters describe the process of Alexa communication, opening an Amazon account and creating a skill for free. The operation of an Alexa skill and terminology such as utterances, intents, slots, and conversations are explained. Debugging your code, saving user data between sessions, S3 data storage and Dynamo DB database are discussed.
In-skill purchasing, enabling users to buy items for your skill as well as certification and publication is outlined. Creating skills using AWS Lambda and ASK CLI is covered, along with the Visual Studio code editor and local debugging. Also covered is the process of designing skills for visual displays and interactive touch designs using Alexa Presentation Language.
The second half of the book starts by creating a Raspberry Pi IoT 'thing' to control a robot from your Alexa device. This covers security issues and methods of sending and receiving MQTT messages between an Alexa device and the Raspberry Pi.
Creating a smart home device is described including forming a security profile, linking with Amazon, and writing a Lambda function that gets triggered by an Alexa skill. Device discovery and on/off control is demonstrated.
Next, readers discover how to control a smart home Raspberry Pi display from an Alexa skill using Simple Queue Service (SQS) messaging to switch the display on and off or change the color.
A node-RED design is discussed from the basic user interface right up to configuring MQTT nodes. MQTT messages sent from a user are displayed on a Raspberry Pi.
A chapter discusses sending a proactive notification such as a weather alert from a Raspberry Pi to an Alexa device. The book concludes by explaining how to create Raspberry Pi as a stand-alone Alexa device.