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Alexa Event Services (AES) or Alexa Triggering Events (ATE)?

From other postings and feature requests, clearly there is a need for Alexa to programmatically respond to external stimulae (alarms, events, etc -- "triggers") for which she is a registered observer (via her Echo web portal, perhaps). As the approval and distribution of Alexa skills are themselves currently managed by Amazon (beyond individual use), when may we expect Alexa Event Sources to be individually/commercially permitted to follow a similar approval regiment leading to certification by Amazon -- perhaps to be listed as available "Alexa Event Services" (AES) or, perhaps, "Alexa Triggering Events" (ATE)? As a somewhat cliche example, building upon Alexa's support for calendars and email, a "You've Got Appointments and/or Mail" skill could work by registering for access to calendar/mail events and, upon a new appointment being posted OR email being received, Alexa could announce the occurrence and affect other logical reactions (e.g., adding items to the user's Todo list, etc) -- presuming the user has selected/approved such a service and, accordingly, specified any requisite filter or match criteria to permit this audible interruption. Thereafter, if the user additionally desires, Alexa could prompt whomever is nearby for a passcode to have a list of the new appointments or mail announced by subject/sender/etc and, as selected, the contents of each read aloud or otherwise rerouted. Here's to dreaming...
alexa skills kit
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jjaquinta answered
It's a nice dream. But the security and privacy problems this bring to an always-on device that can listen to everything you say and stream it to the internet is too high for a litigation target like Amazon to consider. At least that's my take. I'd love to be proven wrong.
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Poor Alexa -- held back by litigious America who, in turn, is manipulated by its own fear of what freedom truly means. Regardless, in case Amazon's legal counsel is -- as you suggest -- gating a VERY NEEDED release of Alexa Event Services, it is an "opt-in" feature being proposed here (with all the protections such affords end-users -- e.g., review your GMAIL T&Cs ;-). Just as you select the Alexa skills to which your Echo responds today, you would subscribe -- via your existing Echo web portal -- to the events you wish to have monitored/observed by Alexa (in tandem with the skills you wish activated and linked thereto). Ultimately, the end-user has supervisory control of what Alexa [sees,] hears and does. As her configurable kill switch is always close at hand, you "need not fear here"! (...Perhaps, by rearranging the words, there's a new playful motto for Alexa and her Echo in this? ;-) Despite your understandable cynicism, I remain hopeful Amazon will deliver this natural evolutionary step sooner than later. As the benefits FAR OUT WEIGH the risks, Wallace and Darwin would have us believing it is going to happen somewhere, someday (soon?) and, thereafter, is likely here to stay until something better comes along... so, Amazon, when's AES/ATE going to happen?
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As FYI, here are some related threads and web resources to asses Amazon's intentions/progress on delivering a richly-featured set of Alexa Event Services. Of note, "Push Notifications" exemplify and legitimate a subset of capabilities sought here. With such technologies in existence for a number of years now, Alexa and her Echo really need a immediate 'push' here ... [b]THREADS[/b] https://forums.developer.amazon.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=5039 https://forums.developer.amazon.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=5099 https://forums.developer.amazon.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=5716 [b]WEB RESOURCES[/b] https://developer.amazon.com/public/apis/engage/device-messaging http://blog.tackmobile.com/article/extending-amazon-echo-with-ifttt/ http://echottt.com/ https://www.reddit.com/r/amazonecho/comments/3g235j/can_i_use_the_echo_for_text_to_speech/
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> it is an "opt-in" feature being proposed here Which is great, until, like with Google's opt-in feature in Chrome to record everything you said, a hacker works out how to activate it on their own. I'm not sure your risk calculus is taking into account all the variables. :-) Yep, I'm quite familiar with all the threads of discussion. I'm not disputing it's the most requested feature. My CEO (of TsaTsaTzu, not my [i]other job[/i]) is constantly coming up with ideas for The Echo that I have to shoot down because it doesn't do push-notification. It would be great to see it. But, in my [i]other job[/i], I just finished a stint as an Ethical Hacker. It's a bigger company than Amazon that is an even larger litigation magnet. An awful lot of work is put into protecting the privacy of users. The tremendous amount of fallout from a breach probably wouldn't sink the company, but it would cause millions of dollars of lost business and long term damage to reputation. As it is, the Reddit subforum freaks out anytime someone reports when they thought Alexa activated when they didn't want it to. If this is any indication of the sort of response the consumer market is going to have... I can't see any future where they let 3rd party developers sent arbitrary unfiltered announcements for random broadcast. The best idea for this I've seen so far is one where you can send a "notification" that sets off a blinking light on Alexa. When you see it, you can ask Alexa for messages and it will relate whatever was sent. That deals with a number of the security and privacy issues. But it would be cumbersome to implement once you add in the required opt-in, blocking, and screening features necessary. I'm also not sure it fits into the general plans for the Alexa service. That would be a whole new set of features anyone adopting the Alexa Voice Service would need to implement. But, again, this is my personal opinion based on my familiarity with The Echo and my industry experience. I'd love to see Amazon do this. But given their history of not telling the 3rd party developers anything, and the extremely conservative choices they've made so far, I'm not going to create any development plans on the assumption they will.
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