An anonymous reader cites an article on CNET: Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa has already grown into a viable platform for voice-activated smart home control. Now, Amazon is introducing new, open software that will make it easier for smart home gadgets to hop aboard that platform. The software is a new addition to the Alexa Skills Kit called the Smart Home Skill API. The API makes it faster and easier for device makers to build the Skills that sync their products up with Alexa, and it standardizes the vocabulary that they'll use, too. If I make a smart thermostat and sync it up with Alexa using the Smart Home Skill API, I'll be using common terminology that Alexa already knows. That means that Alexa will be able to control my thermostat with basic commands like, "Turn the heat up" or, "Set the thermostat to 70" without me needing to program any of it.