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Documentation

INTRODUCTION

Voice Monkey provides you with an API to trigger Alexa Routines remotely.

Use it with services like IFTTT, Zapier, Integromat or smart home platforms such as Home Assistant and Node-Red or even just launch the API URL in your browser. It’s up to you.

With Voice Monkey you can also send custom Text To Speech (TTS) commands to your Alexa devices such as an Amazon Echo. Use it to make announcements when something happens e.g. a door opens, your security camera senses motion, your team scores a goal, a Tweet is made, your web server is down, someone makes a purchase in your ecommerce store etc


QUICKSTART GUIDE

1. You first need to enable the Voice Monkey Skill using the Alexa App and link your Amazon account.

2. Sign in to Voice Monkey using the same Amazon account as you used to link the Skill.

3. Complete the set-up and then go to “Manage Monkeys” to generate your first Monkey.

4. Create a new routine in the Alexa App with your Monkey as the trigger (“When this happens” >”Smart Home” > “Your monkey name”).

5. To make Text-to-speech Announcements, you must open the Voice Monkey Skill as the last action in your Routine.

6. Visit the Playground section of the Dashboard and test your new Monkey.


MONKEYS

Monkeys are what trigger your routines.

Within the Alexa smart home ecosystem a Monkey is a virtual door bell, which when pressed (via the API request) can trigger an Alexa routine.

You can create as many monkeys as you wish (max 300).

You can also name them as you wish. Usually users create one Monkey per Alexa device and name them after the device e.g. Echo Spot, Echo Show etc This makes it easier when you’re creating your routines in the Alexa App.


API REFERENCE

Voice Monkey provides you with a simple API URL endpoint for sending your GET or POST requests.

Endpoint URL

https://api.voicemonkey.io/trigger

Parameters

The API supports the following parameters as part of the request.

access_token (required)
Sign in to your account or open your welcome email to find your Voice Monkey access token.

secret_token (required)
Sign in to your account or open your welcome email to find your Voice Monkey secret token.

monkey (required)
This is the ID of the Monkey you want to trigger. Sign in and visit ‘Manage Monkeys’ to create a monkey and view its ID

announcement (optional)
If you want your Alexa device to speak something out loud when you trigger your monkey then add the text to this parameter. You must open the Voice Monkey Skill as the last step of your routine.
Read more about announcements.

image (optional)
You can send an image to alexa devices with a screen including the Echo Show. The ‘announcement’ parameter must not be blank. You must open the Voice Monkey Skill as the last step of your routine.
Read more about images.

video (optional)
You can send a video to alexa devices with a screen including the Echo Show. The ‘announcement’ parameter must not be blank. You must open the Voice Monkey Skill as the last step of your routine.
Read more about videos.

voice (optional)
Don’t like the default Alexa voice? Select one of the many different available Amazon AWS Polly voices to make your announcement. Use the playground to find a suitable Voice.

chime (optional)
This plays a sound such as a bell or buzzer to alert you. If an announcement is included in the request, then the Chime will play at the start before the announcement is made.

audio (optional)
Play audio file. The URL to this file must be a publicly accessible. If Announcement text is also provided in the request, then the audio will play after the announcement. Read more about audio.

bkg-audio (optional)
This plays an audio file in the background whilst an announcement is being made. The audio file must meet the same requirements as those specified for the audio parameter.

websiteUrl (optional)
Providing a website URL for this parameter will cause the website to open in the Silk browser on compatible Echo Show devices.

prompt-yes-preset and prompt-no-preset (optional)
Firstly create a preset. Then send the preset ID in either one of these parameters (yes or no) and that preset will be triggered when you answer “yes” or “no”. When using these parameters, you should also include the Announcement parameter to ask a question e.g. “Shall I turn on the lights?” Find out more about Yes/No Prompts on the blog: https://voicemonkey.io/alexa-yes-no


TEXT TO SPEECH / ANNOUNCEMENTS

Using Voice Monkey you can send Text To Speech (TTS) commands to specific Alexa devices easily using the API.

This is a highly requested feature that is now possible using Voice Monkey. Here’s how:

Step 1 – Sign Up

Follow the starting steps to sign up to Voice Monkey.

Step 2 – Create a Monkey

Go to “manage monkeys” to create a new Monkey (Trigger).

Step 3 – Add a Routine

In the Alexa App (on your mobile device), go to “Routines”. Create a new Routine, give it a name and then in the “When this happens” section select “Smart Home” and select the Monkey you just created.

In the “Add Action” section, select “Skills”, then “Your Skills”, then choose “Voice Monkey”.

Select the Alexa device that should make the announcement and then save the routine.

Step 4 – Trigger The Routine Using the Voice Monkey API

Go to “Playground” . Select the monkey you used for your routine. In the announcement text box, add some text. Click the “Trigger” button. This will trigger your routine and make your Alexa device speak like magic!


PRESETS

Using the “Playground”  you can create a request and then save it as a Preset.

You can trigger a Preset from an Alexa routine. In the action section of the routine, select Custom Task and then type “ask voice monkey to trigger preset one”. You can replace ‘one’ with the number of the preset you wish to use.

Presets can also be used in Yes/No Prompts.


NOTIFICATIONS

The notifications parameter has now been deprecated and will no longer work for new users.


IMAGES

As part of an announcement, you can send a URL to an image which will then be displayed on an Alexa device with a screen e.g. Echo Show.

Simply add the full URL of the image to the “image” parameter in the API URL.


VIDEOS

As well as images, you can send a URL of an MP4 video file which will then be displayed on an Alexa device with a screen e.g. Echo Show.

Simply add the full URL of the video to the “video” parameter in the API URL.


AUDIO

The audio parameter allows you to send a publicly accessible URL of an audio file which will then play on your device. If Announcement text is also supplied, the audio will play after the announcement is made.

Audio supports the following formats:

  • aac
  • mp3
  • ogg
  • opus
  • wav

For Alexa to play the file successfully, the audio file must meet the following requirements:

  • Bit rate – The bit rate must be less than or equal to 1411.20 kbps.
  • Sample rate – The sample rate must be less than or equal to 48kHz.
  • File size – The file size of the audio clip can’t be greater than 10mb. If your file size is larger than 10mb, consider editing the duration of the file or converting the file to another format, such as MP3 or Opus.
  • Response length – The combined total time for the entire audio response generated from the components cannot be more than 240 seconds.

In addition, the URL must comply with the following:

  • HTTPS – The audio file must be hosted at an Internet-accessible HTTPS endpoint.
  • SSL certificates: – The domain hosting the audio file must present a valid, trusted SSL certificate. Avoid using self-signed certificates.
  • CORS wildcards – Audio files must be CORS wildcard-enabled. The service must respond with the following header: Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *.

WEB-TO-ALEXA CHROME EXTENSION

We’ve created a Google Chrome extension to easily send text and images from webpages directly to your Alexa devices. Highlight text, send it to Voice Monkey, and Alexa will immediately start reading it out. Or right click on an image and send it to Voice Monkey to immediately display it on your Echo Show or screen enabled Alexa device. Here’s how:

Step 1 – Sign Up To Voice Monkey

Follow the getting started steps to sign up to Voice Monkey and create your first Monkey and announcement routine (see above). Make a note of your access token and secret token credentials.

Step 2 – Install Chrome Extension

Visit the Voice Monkey Chrome Extension page and install the extension to your Chrome browser. Visit the extension’s options page and add the access token, secret token and ID of the Monkey you wish to send data to.

Step 3 – Send Text and Images To Alexa

Once installed, highlight text, right click and select “Send Text To Voice Monkey”. If you have a screen enabled Alexa device, right click on an image and select “Send image to Voice Monkey”. If you’ve set-up your Monkey and Alexa routine correctly, you should hear Alexa’s voice read out the text you selected and/or see the image on your screen.


FAQs

How many Monkeys can I create?

As many as you like up to a maximum of 300.

How many API calls can I make?

We do have fair use limits on API calls.

Our API throttling limits will allow up to 30 calls within a 60 second window…anything above that will block subsequent requests for the next 15 minutes.

How much does Voice Monkey cost?

Please see our pricing page.

I have a question, how can I contact you?

Support is available using the email address [email protected]


CONTACT US

To ask a question or leave feedback (whether positive or negative) please contact us [email protected]