Adding Support for Playing Youtube Videos in SUSI iOS App

SUSI supports very exciting features in chat screen, from simple answer type to complex map, RSS, table etc type responses. Even user can ask SUSI for the image of anything and SUSI response with the image in the chat screen. What if we can play the youtube video from SUSI, we ask SUSI for playing videos and it can play youtube videos, isn’t it be exciting? Yes, SUSI can play youtube videos too. All the SUSI clients (iOS, Android, and Web) support playing youtube videos in chat.

Google provides a Youtube iFrame Player API that can be used to play videos inside the app only instead of passing an intent and playing the videos in the youtube app. iFrame API provide support for playing youtube videos in iOS applications.

In this post, we will see how playing youtube video features implemented in SUSI iOS.

Getting response from server side –

When we ask SUSI for playing any video, in response, we get youtube Video ID in video_play action type. SUSI iOS make use of Video ID to play youtube video. In response below, you can see that we are getting answer action type and in the expression of answer action type, we get the title of the video.

type: "answer",
expression: "Playing Kygo - Firestone (Official Video) ft. Conrad Sewell"
identifier: "9Sc-ir2UwGU",
identifier_type: "youtube",
type: "video_play"

Integrating youtube player in the app –

We have a VideoPlayerView that handle all the iFrame API methods and player events with help of YTPlayer HTML file.

When SUSI respond with video_play action, the first step is to register the YouTubePlayerCell and present the cell in collectionView of chat screen.

Registering the Cell –

register(_:forCellWithReuseIdentifier:) method registers a class for use in creating new collection view cells.

collectionView?.register(YouTubePlayerCell.self, forCellWithReuseIdentifier: ControllerConstants.youtubePlayerCell)


Presenting the YouTubePlayerCell –

Here we are presenting the cell in chat screen using cellForItemAt method of UICollectionView.

if message.actionType == ActionType.video_play.rawValue {
if let cell = collectionView.dequeueReusableCell(withReuseIdentifier: ControllerConstants.youtubePlayerCell, for: indexPath) as? YouTubePlayerCell {
cell.message = message
cell.delegate = self
return cell


Setting size for cell –

Using sizeForItemAt method of UICollectionView to set the size.

if message.actionType == ActionType.video_play.rawValue {
return CGSize(width: view.frame.width, height: 158)

In YouTubePlayerCell, we are displaying the thumbnail of youtube video using UIImageView. Following method is using to get the thumbnail of particular video by using Video ID –

  1. Getting thumbnail image from URL
  2. Setting image to imageView
func downloadThumbnail() {
if let videoID = message?.videoData?.identifier {
let thumbnailURLString = "\(videoID)/default.jpg"
let thumbnailURL = URL(string: thumbnailURLString)
thumbnailView.kf.setImage(with: thumbnailURL, placeholder: ControllerConstants.Images.placeholder, options: nil, progressBlock: nil, completionHandler: nil)

We are adding a play button in the center of thumbnail view so that when the user clicks play button, we can present player.

On clicking the Play button, we are presenting the PlayerViewController, which hold all the player setups, by overFullScreen type of modalPresentationStyle.

@objc func playVideo() {
if let videoID = message?.videoData?.identifier {
let playerVC = PlayerViewController(videoID: videoID)
playerVC.modalPresentationStyle = .overFullScreen
delegate?.loadNewScreen(controller: playerVC)

The methods above present the youtube player with giving Video ID. We are using YouTubePlayerDelegate method to autoplay the video.

func playerReady(_ videoPlayer: YouTubePlayerView) {

The player can be dismissed by tapping on the light black background.

Final Output –

Resources –

  1. Youtube iOS Player API
  2. SUSI API Sample Response for Playing Video
  3. SUSI iOS Link
Continue ReadingAdding Support for Playing Youtube Videos in SUSI iOS App

How to add the Google Books API to SUSI AI

SUSI.AI is a Open Source personal assistant. You can also add new skills to SUSI easily. In this blog post I’m going to add Google’s Books API to SUSI as a skill. A complete tutorial on SUSI.AI skills is n the repository. Check out Tutorial Level 11: Call an external API here and you will understand how can we integrate an external API with SUSI AI.

To start adding book skills to SUSI.AI , first go to this URL  > give a name in the text field and press OK.


Copy and paste above code to the newly opened etherpad.

Go to this url to test new skill.

Type “dream blogpost” on chat and press enter. Now we can use the skills we  add to the etherpad.

To understand  Google’s book API use this url.Your request url should be like this:



you should replace APIKey with your API key.

To get started you first need to get an API key.

Go to this url > click GET A KEY button which is in right top > and select “Create a new project”

Add name to a project and click “CREATE AND ENABLE API” button

Copy your API key and replace the API Key part of request URL.

Paste request url on your browser address bar and replace BOOKNAME part with “flower” and go to the URL. It will give this JSON.

We need to get the full name of books which is in items array to that we have to go through this hierarchy
items array >first item>volumeInfo >title
Go to the etherpad we made before and paste the following code.

is there any book called * ?
!console:did you mean "$title$" ? Here is a link to read more: $infoLink$

first line of the code “is there any book called *?” is the question user ask. *  is the variant part  of question. that part can be used in the code by $1$ , if there more variants we can add multiple asterisk marks and refer by using corresponding number Ex: $1$,$2$,$3$
  • In this code  “path” : “$.items[0].volumeInfo”
  • $  represents full JSON result.
  • items[0] for get first element
  • .volumeInfo is to refer  volumeInfo object
!console:did you mean “$title$” ?  Here is a link to read more: $infoLink$
this line produce the output.
  • $title$ this one is for refer the “title” part of data that comes from “path”
  • $infoLink$ this one gives link to more details

Now go to the chat UI and type again “dream blogpost”. And after it shows “dreaming enabled” type in”is there any book called world war?”. It will result in the following.

This  is a simple way to add any service to SUSI as a skill.

Continue ReadingHow to add the Google Books API to SUSI AI