Baby Skill Activity API Launched By Amazon, Also Invests in Hatch Baby
Last week Amazon launched the Baby Skill Activity API and also announced its investment in Hatch Baby, which develops smart baby care products. The Baby Skill API enables the build of features that allows users to log and query activities such as the latest diaper change, weight, and sleep patterns.
More Tools for Baby Alexa Skill Developers
The Baby Activity Skill API is available in the U.S. and includes a set of interfaces that make the skill building process easier. Currently offered with the API are Weight, Sleep, DiaperChange, and InfantFeeding interfaces, and Amazon says it plans on adding more. Some sample utterances include:
- Alexa, track a dirty diaper change for Jane.
- Alexa, log a 3-ounce bottle for Jane.
- Alexa, start nursing from the left.
- Alexa, when was Jane’s last diaper change?
Two companies have already begun to implement the new API: Baby Connect and Hatch Baby, which is Amazon’s latest investment. Baby Connect is a comprehensive baby tracking application available on the Kindle Fire, AppStore, and Android devices. Xavier Launey, Founder & CEO at Baby Connect commented on the new API,
With this new capability, parents will be able to easily record events hands-free and have rapid access to the information. Our initial tests show an increase in engagement from the parents who use the Baby Activity skill for Alexa.
Hatch Baby, a Smart Baby Product Brand
Hatch Baby creates smart products tailored to all things baby care. Rest is a device that acts as a night light, sound machine, and Time-to-Rise indicator and can be controlled using a smartphone. Grow is the second generation Smart Changing Pad, a device that combines a traditional diaper changing pad with a built-in, wireless smart scale. Ken DeLong, VP of Software Engineering at Hatch Baby commented on the Baby Activity Skills API, saying,
Implementing the Baby Activity Skills API was straightforward, and provides a lot of value to customers by making it easier for them to interact with our skill. The API does the heavy lifting in handling the user interaction model so that our code became very straightforward to implement.
TechCrunch reports that the financial terms of the Hatch Baby investment by the Amazon Alexa Fund have not been disclosed. Ann Crady Weiss, co-founder, and CEO of Hatch Baby stated in an interview that the Amazon funding is part of a strategic partnership as Hatch Baby will develop more content and hardware using Amazon Alexa going forward. The company has already developed the Hatch Baby Alexa skill which allows users to track diaper changes, nursing sessions, bottle feeds, sleeping patterns, and their baby’s weight.
Alexa’s New Focus on Skills for Parents
Amazon is investing in Hatch Baby in order to build up the skills tailored to parents, says Paul Bernard, Director of the Alexa Fund:
The Alexa Fund was created to support companies embracing voice technology and exploring new and compelling uses for Alexa. We see parenting and health and wellness as two areas where voice can make customers’ lives simpler, and Hatch Baby has a clear vision of how Alexa and other Amazon services can help them better support parents. We’re excited to give them the access and resources they need to expand their skill for Alexa and explore further integrations across Amazon.
Expanding parenting skills for Alexa will allow Amazon to increase its engagement from those who are already using and purchasing smart home products specifically for parenting. This investment also follows an investment made by the Amazon Alexa Fund in the baby care tech startup Owlet, in 2016, as well as BabyCenter’s Alexa skill made for expectant parents. Amazon has become increasingly focused on baby and childcare products, not only selling a significant range of products but running one of the most popular baby registry services.