Api.ai actions - Empower your home automation experience with AI, NLP and machine learning
What is Api.ai?

Api.ai is a platform that empowers mobile and desktop applications with multilingual voice recognition, natural language understanding, and text-to-speech technologies. It allows developers to create intelligent applications and include natural language interfaces in their products. Users of such applications can create, customise and teach chatbots or “smart agents” using natural language understanding and voice recognition to interact with them.

As an interface to Api.ai, Beecon+ provides you multiple input and output methods to listen, train, talk and get information from your agent based on what you do, when you do and where you are. Api.ai expands Beecon's actions, voice commands, proximity and location events with the aid of personal agents that learn, assist and communicate with you in your own language.

When combined with home automation, smart agents can perform a myriad of autonomous tasks based on proximity, location, manual actions or voice commands:

  • Call actions based on events, context and more
  • Create contextual, interactive iOS notifications
  • Execute autonomous web-based tasks for you
  • Do web searches and talk about the results
  • Read the news and provide feedback based on events
  • Communicate with other automation systems or web services
  • Answer questions, do calculations or conversions

  • Execute autonomous web-based tasks for you
  • Create contextual, interactive iOS notifications
  • Call actions based on events, context and more
  • Do web searches and talk about the results
  • Read the news and provide feedback based on events
  • Communicate with other automation systems or web services
  • Send text messages or emails on your behalf
  • Answer questions, do calculations or conversions
Sounds like Siri. What's the difference?

Siri doesn't have an API that allows integration with apps or systems. You can make Siri learn things, but you can't program, customize or integrate it with other platforms that aren't already connected to it. Because of that, Siri can't invoked when you use third-party apps, and it can only be used when you talk directly to it.

How does it work?

Think of your Api.ai agent as a “just born baby” that comes with basic intelligence and great machine learning capabilities. For example, you can tell it your name and it will learn how to call you that way. Without any training, your agent will only say things like “glad to see you here” or “what am I supposed to do” when you arrive somewhere or when actions are called. You are constantly feeding it information via voice commands, events and actions. To make the agent even smarter, you can choose domains (car, home, general, etc.) and create intents and entities using Api.ai's web console.



Integrate with voice commands

Speak return messages

Forward all events and actions to Api.ai

Forward metadata responses to URL

Call Beecon actions with responses


Calling actions based on interactive "yes/no" notifications

Every time Api.ai returns a phrase finished with a question mark together with an action, Beecon displays a "yes/no" notification. Upon pressing one the options, Beecon sends back a "yes" or "no" intent together with the action value passed as input context. The video below explains how to create an interactive notification that turns on your lights when you enter a region. The same principle can be applied to any type of event or action.



Remember, this is just a suggested way of creating your Api.ai structure of intents, contexts and actions. You can always use your own method or different approaches to accomplish the same goal. As long as Api.ai returns the name of an action passed in its metadata action field, Beecon will call it if a matching action name exists.

Interactive notifications with suggested actions

Additionally to "yes/no" notifications, Beecon also displays notifications with suggested actions based on context, event, location and other variables. The video below explains how to create an interactive notification that shows suggested actions when you enter a region. The same principle can be applied to any type of event or action.



Reminder: iOS limits notifications that are shown outside the app (in Notification Center and Lock Screen) to maximum two actions, even when Api.ai returns more suggestions.

How to set my timezone?

If your intents are time-related, Beecon sends the same timezone used for weather or temperature actions together with them. To configure it, go to Beecon settings > Spoken alerts > Customize spoken actions and enter your current location in "Continent/City" format. For example: Asia/Hong Kong

What about privacy? How secure is it?

Beecon connects to Api.ai gateway via HTTPS secure connection only. Your metadata is not transmitted or sent anywhere else other than Api.ai own servers. When “Forward metadata responses to URL” is enabled, your metadata is only relayed to the URL you specify. Read Api.ai's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use here.

Get started

  • Sign up for an Api.ai account and create an agent
  • Get the access token and subscription key that are provided when an Api.ai agent is created
  • Configure your token and key at Beecon+ > Settings > Api.ai
Once everything is set, start exploring the additional options and visit Api.ai's website to learn more about domains, intents, entities, NLP and machine learning.




Get Beecon's latest version at the App Store.


Copyright and trademark notice: Api.ai and its logo are trademarks owned by Speaktoit, Inc. Beecon is in no way affiliated with Speaktoit, Inc. Api.ai, Estimote, Philips Hue, IFTTT, SmartThings, Apple Watch, Apple, iBeacon, iPhone, iOS and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders.