Implement AVS Notifications

The Notification feature informs Alexa users about new content associated with their Alexa Voice Service (AVS) enabled device. For example, the LED ring on an Echo device glows yellow when a user receives a new message in their Alexa inbox indicating that Amazon has delivered a package.

Implement the Notifications interface to support Notifications in your AVS implementation.

Available Notification indicators

The Notifications interface exposes two directives that instruct your product to set and clear visual and audio indicators:

  • SetIndicator – The SetIndicator directive instructs your client to render visual and audio indicators when new content is available to be retrieved. It does not include the notification content.
  • ClearIndicator – The ClearIndicator directive instructs your client to clear all active visual and audio indicators.

Additionally, your product must communicate the state of its notification indicators to AVS by including IndicatorState as a context object with applicable events.

For all products, the end user must be immediately informed when a SetIndicator directive is received, even during an ongoing interaction such as Alexa speech or media playback. This is because notifications map to the Alerts channel in the AVS Interaction Model.

The directive payload includes two boolean values that instruct your client to persist a visual indicator and/or play an audio file. persistVisualIndicator is a global value, if true your product must continue to inform the user that notifications are available until they are retrieved by the user, the product receives a new notification with persistVisualIndicator set to false, or receives a ClearIndicator directive. playAudioIndicator lets your product know whether to audibly inform the user that a notification is available. If true, a URL is provided and must be played immediately. In the case that the audio file is unavailable, your product should play a locally stored new notification audio file as a fallback.

Sequence Diagrams

These diagrams illustrate the typical flow of directives and events for setting and clearing notification indicators.

Scenario 1: Notifications Available

In this scenario, a notification is delivered to an AVS-enabled product.

Notifications available sequence diagram.

Scenario 2: Retrieve Notifications

In this scenario, the user sees a the yellow LED pulse on their AVS-enabled product, and asks, "Alexa, what are my notifications".

Retrieve notifications sequence diagram.

Enable the Quote Maker Skill for Testing

The Quote Maker skill is a development tool that allows developers to create notifications in real-time, and trigger the sending of SetIndicator directives to all Alexa Built-in devices associated with a user account. Learn more »

Next Steps

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Last updated: Nov 27, 2023