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Showing posts by David Isbitski

July 06, 2017

David Isbitski

Today, we are happy to announce Alexa Dev Days, a new event series from Amazon and sponsored by Intel. We invite learners of all levels to join us in more than 25 cities worldwide for training sessions, workshops, live demos, and networking with Alexa experts and your peers.

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June 30, 2017

David Isbitski

A visual user interface can be a great complement to a voice-first user experience. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how to build an Alexa skill using the core developer capabilities of Echo Show.

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June 28, 2017

David Isbitski

Echo Show, Amazon’s new device that brings you everything you love about Alexa, is now shipping to customers in the US. While your skills will work out of the box, we know that many of you want to augment existing skills by creating unique visual experiences for Echo Show.

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June 08, 2017

David Isbitski

Today we announced the Video Skill API, a new addition to the Alexa Skills Kit. Companies can now teach Alexa how to interface with their video content and services. And you can build experiences that allow your customers to easily find and consume video content without invoking a specific skill.

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June 08, 2017

David Isbitski

Today we announced that we now enable video providers to control content with the Video Skill API, a new addition to the Alexa Skills Kit. Here is an overview of how to create video skills for Alexa so that your customers can easily find and consume video content without invoking a specific skill.

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May 16, 2017

David Isbitski

Soon you will be able to enable notifications for select skills and Amazon.com shopping updates on most devices with Alexa. Companies like AccuWeather, The Washington Post, and Just Eat will be among the first to update their skills with notifications. AVS and ASK dev tools are also coming soon.

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May 09, 2017

David Isbitski

Today, Amazon introduced Echo Show, a new device that brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things. We are also adding new capabilities to the Alexa Skills Kit that will enable you to optimize your skills for the screen and connect smart home cameras to Alexa.

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May 03, 2017

David Isbitski

Today, we are happy to announce new permissions features that allow you to read, add and delete items in Alexa’s shopping and to-do lists from within your skill.

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April 26, 2017

David Isbitski

We are thrilled to introduce a new Amazon device with Alexa: Echo Look, a hands-free camera and style assistant that helps customers look their best.

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April 18, 2017

David Isbitski

We are happy to announce a new Alexa skill builder, which provides a more intuitive interface for you to easily create engaging Alexa skills. You can also use this tool to build natural dialogs to provide more intelligent responses to user requests.

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April 18, 2017

David Isbitski

We are excited to announce our new beta testing tool for Alexa skills which makes it easy for you to get beta feedback on your skill. You can now invite users to test your Alexa skill and provide feedback before you publish your skill.

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March 27, 2017

David Isbitski

AWS-Credits_blog.png

We recently announced a new program that makes it free to build and host most Alexa skills using Amazon Web Services (AWS). The program aims to help you build engaging skills by giving you access to more AWS infrastructure beyond the AWS Free Tier. Here are five ideas for using AWS services to unlock your skill's potential.

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March 15, 2017

David Isbitski

AWS-Credits_blog.png

Amazon today announced a new program that will make it free for tens of thousands of Alexa developers to build and host most Alexa skills using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Many Alexa skill developers currently take advantage of the AWS Free Tier, which offers one million AWS Lambda requests and up to 750 hours of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) compute time per month at no charge. However, if developers exceed the AWS Free Tier limits, they may incur AWS usage charges each month.

Now, developers with a live Alexa skill can apply to receive a $100 AWS promotional credit and can also receive an additional $100 per month in AWS promotional credits if they incur AWS usage charges for their skill – making it free for developers to build and host most Alexa skills. Our goal is to free up developers to create more robust and unique skills that can take advantage of AWS services. We can’t wait to see what you create.

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February 23, 2017

David Isbitski

10K-skills_blog.png

Today we’re happy to share that developers have published over 10,000 skills, making Alexa even better for customers. We’ve been blown away by the innovation and activity in the Alexa developer community. To put it in perspective, we’ve seen a 3x increase in the number of skills available since September 2016 alone. We’ve come a long way in the short time that the Alexa Skills Kit has been available for developers, and we’ve seen a wide range of unique skills that allow customers to do everything from reorder their favorite morning coffee, stay mindful through meditation, control smart home lighting or check their bank account balance.

In November we unveiled a new way for customers to discover Alexa skills and explore the breadth of the Alexa skills catalog. With Alexa skills on Amazon.com, customers can enable skills directly through the website and leave reviews, just like other items on Amazon. Many skills have hundreds of reviews and are rated 4-star or higher by customers. We’ve also added ways for customers to enable and find popular skills, just using their voice.

To celebrate this 10k milestone of skill selection, here are a few Alexa skill highlights:

  • Beat the Intro has the honor of being the 10,000th skill published. It’s a music game by Musicplode Media that tests your knowledge and love of music.
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February 10, 2017

David Isbitski

Speechcons_blog_asV1.png

Speech Synthesis Markup Language, or SSML, is a standardized markup language that provides a way to mark up text for changing how speech is synthesized. Numerous SSML tags are already supported by the Alexa Skills Kit, including: audio, break, p, phoneme, s, say-as, speak, and w.

Alexa now understands SSML Speechcons, which are special words and phrases that are pronounced more expressively by Alexa. Speechcons can be used in English (US) skills by adding a <say-as interpret-as="interjection"> tag around the speechcon you would like to use.

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