Voice Monkey Docs

Documentation to help you get up and running with Voice Monkey.

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. 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. Generate an API URL and then open the URL in your browser to test the routine trigger.


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

The endpoint URL to use depends on the region where you signed up to Voice Monkey. Sign in and visit the 'URL Generator' to find your endpoint.

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.

notification (optional, defaults to FALSE)
You can optionally send a notification to Alexa. The 'announcement' parameter must not be blank.
Read more about notifications.

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.


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 "generate URL" to create the API URL. Select the monkey you used for your routine. In the announcement text box, add some text. Click the "Generate URL" button. Click the "Open URL" button to open the API URL in a new browser tab which when loaded should trigger your routine and make your Alexa device speak like magic!

Enhancements

You can enhance your announcements by adding Notifications and Images


NOTIFICATIONS

With Voice Monkey, when you send an announcement, you can specify using the "notification" parameter, to also notify your Alexa devices. This might be useful in case you are out of the house and missed the announcement.

A notification will trigger the notification experience which is different across Alexa devices. For example, on an Echo Dot, you'll hear a sound then see a flashing yellow ring.

You can then ask Alexa, "What are my notifications"?

Notifications have limited use now that Amazon have deprecated the Notifications API. Previously as some other Skills are doing, you could send custom text that would be read back by Alexa. Now Alexa developers are limited to certain scenarios such as delivery notifications and weather alerts.

When you listen to the notification from Voice Monkey, Alexa will ask you to open the Voice Monkey Skill. Voice Monkey will then read out the last announcement that was made.


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.


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.


IDEAS FOR VOICE MONKEY USE CASES

We'll be writing tutorials and How Tos for Voice Monkey use cases out in the wild...

Website Downtime Alerts


FAQs

How much does Voice Monkey cost?

Voice Monkey is FREE whilst in BETA and we plan to keep it free as long as possible.

We'd love to offer this as a free service permanently but behind the scenes there are infrastructure and maintenance costs.

We'll keep it free as long as we can, and if demand puts too much pressure on costs, we'll let you know with plenty of warning if we introduce pricing structures.

How many Monkeys can I create?

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

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]