Amazon releases Reminders API for Alexa developers

Amazon has released a new Reminders API which enables developers to expand the notifications Alexa users can receive.

Using the API, users can set reminders for things such as picking the kids up from school or getting that bill paid.

When enabling a skill, the user must grant permission for reminders. They’ll also need to give permission for each subsequent reminder they wish to set to avoid developers abusing their new powers.

Vytas Kancleris, CTO at TvGuide.co.uk said it was easy to add to their skill:

“Once users find something they want to watch, they can simply set up a reminder to be notified a few minutes before a show starts.

Our development team found it fairly easy to implement. We are hoping to see a big uptick in usage as well as improved customer experience when we are live.”

Holiday booking website KAYAK is already making use of the Reminders API to alert users when a flight they’re tracking has landed. This information could then be used to go pick a passenger up from the airport or get a meal/bed ready for the weary traveller.

The NHL, meanwhile, is using the new API to remind users 30 minutes before a hockey game is about to start in order to help them avoid missing any of the action.

On the user side, Amazon is providing Alexa users with a new way to access information from their calendar. Users can ask questions such as: “When do I have an hour free on Wednesday?”, or “Do I have any free time this weekend?”.

Alexa continues to get smarter as it continues to fight off competition from the likes of Google, Siri, and Cortana. Amazon’s virtual assistant continues to benefit from a strong community of developers.

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