Introducing the Particle Device Cloud Alexa Skill

Introducing the Particle Device Cloud Alexa Skill

Have you ever been so locked-in on a task that you can’t bear the thought of lifting your hands from the keyboard? Ever been in such a state of flow while working on a project that you couldn’t possibly peel your eyes from the screen to see if that LED is still blinking?

Me too, which is why I decided to create an Alexa skill that lets me talk through the Particle Device Cloud to my many online devices. With this skill, I can call cloud functions and get variables without moving my hands from the keyboard, or eyes from the screen! Isn’t the 21st Century grand?

Installing the skill

To use it, you’ll need any Amazon Echo device and at least one Particle Photon, Electron, or Raspberry Pi running our Particle Device Cloud integration. With those items on hand, you can install the skill by saying “Alexa, install Particle Cloud,” or enable it here.

Once installed, you’ll need to link your Amazon account to your Particle account from the Alexa app on your phone or at alexa.amazon.com.

Animation of Account Linking Process

Using the skill

Once you’re all set up, you can interact with it using the phrase “open particle cloud,” or “ask particle cloud,” followed by a command. For instance, if you want to know which devices you have online, you can say:

“Alexa, ask particle cloud to list my devices”

Or, if you want to list the cloud functions on a device, you can say:

“Alexa, ask particle cloud to list functions for device {device name here}”

You get the idea. For a more complete listing of features and commands, visit the GitHub repo for this skill.

Learning more

If you want to learn the nitty gritty details of how I built the skill and what was involved, I wrote a longer post over at Hackster.io. You can also visit the GitHub repo for the skill to check out the source.

As you try out this skill, I’d love to hear what you think. If you have feedback on the skill, questions, or run into issues, you can post a new topic on the Particle community forums. I’ll be keeping an eye out for your feedback!

Important Disclaimer: This skill is not an officially-supported Particle product. It’s something I built to help me with my own Particle-based projects, and wanted to share with the community. I make no guarantees that this skill will work with all of your devices or for everything you want to do with it. I’d be happy to help with your feedback or questions, but please don’t ask for support from this from the Particle support team, or they’ll start sending me angry emojis on Slack.

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About Brandon Satrom

Brandon Satrom is the Developer Evangelist for Particle. An unabashed lover of the web, mobile and an avid tinkerer, Brandon loves to talk about sensors and circuits, microcontrollers, open source, robots and whatever new shiny tool or technology has distracted him from that other thing he was working on. Brandon has spoken at national, international and online events, and is the author of four books. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife, Sarah, and three sons, Benjamin, Jack and Matthew.

Austin, TX brandonsatrom

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