Alexa adds Device Identity

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We have an Alexa project where we’re using Alexa to control physical devices in the room. In a deployment, there are multiple devices in multiple rooms. But these devices aren’t lights or thermostats, so they aren’t yet candidates for the Alexa Smart Home API.
A few months ago, it looked like we would have to create dozens of cloned Amazon accounts, one for each room, in order to be able to distinguish one Alexa device from another.
Happily, Alexa has now added two ways to distinguish multiple devices on the same Amazon account:

  1. You can configure a postal address for each Alexa device, and a skill can ask permission to access the device’s address. This would be a bit of a stretch, but we could include the room location in the “street address”.
  2. Amazon can now send a device ID with each skill request. If part of our first-time setup is to associate that device ID with a room, we don’t even need to bother looking at the postal address.

So, thanks Amazon, you’ve made our job much easier!