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Showing posts by Glenn Cameron

November 21, 2017

Glenn Cameron

Alexa and Arduino Contest

We are excited to announce a new competition that invites makers to create the smart home gadgets of the future. We’ve teamed up with Arduino, the world’s leading open-source hardware and software ecosystem, and Hackster.io to bring you the Alexa and Arduino Smart Home Challenge.

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June 30, 2017

Glenn Cameron

tiny fox

Today, we are happy to announce the winners of the Amazon Alexa Skills Challenge on Alexa.DevPost.com.

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April 06, 2017

Glenn Cameron

To celebrate its first anniversary, Echosim.io is releasing a new developer console in Echosim.io to make skill testing even easier. The console exposes the incoming and outgoing JSON messages between Echosim.io and the Alexa Voice Service (AVS).
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February 15, 2017

Glenn Cameron

Alexa Developer Contest

We are happy to announce a new Amazon Alexa Skills contest with DevPost, the developer-focused job search and hackathon company. We are challenging developers and designers to create unique new skills that make Alexa smarter. To compete for over $40,000 in prizes, you will need to create an original Alexa skill. This is our most open-ended challenge yet. Will you turn Alexa into a concierge, sous chef, fitness coach, personal shopper, or DJ? You decide. The challenge starts now – sign up!

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February 07, 2017

Glenn Cameron

In September 2016, we announced that Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Alexa were coming to the UK and Germany. Since then, developers have created hundreds of great new skills for customers in these countries. Today we’re excited to announce that the community website Echosim.io has made it even easier for you to build and test your skills by adding new language models for English (UK) and German.

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January 10, 2017

Glenn Cameron

In October of last year we worked with Hackster.io to launch the Amazon Alexa API Mashup Contest challenging developers to connect their favorite public APIs to Alexa. Developers submitted 163 projects that connected Alexa to the APIs of companies like Slack, Medium, Yelp, and many others.

Special thanks to everyone who competed in this contest. We were impressed by the creativity, quality, and high number of entries. We encourage you to browse through the projects. Each one comes with source code and documentation that might be a helpful reference when you code your next Alexa skill.

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October 24, 2016

Glenn Cameron

We are happy to announce the Amazon Alexa API Mashup Contest, our newest challenge with Hackster.io. To compete, you’ll build a compelling new voice experience by connecting your favorite public API to Alexa, the brain behind millions of Alexa-enabled devices, including Amazon Echo. The contest will award prizes for the most creative and most useful API mashups.

Create great skills that report on ski conditions, connect to local business, or even read recent messages from your Slack channel. If you have an idea for something that should be powered by voice, build the Alexa skill to make it happen. APIs used in the contest should be public. If you are not sure where to start, you can check out this list of public APIs on GitHub.

Need Real-World Examples?

  • Ask Twitter for trends.
  • Ask Automatic if you need gas.
  • Ask Hurricane Center what are the current storms
  • Ask Area Code where is eight six zero.
  • Ask Uber to request a ride.

How to Win

Submit your projects for API combos to the Alexa API Mashup Contest on Hackster for a chance to win. You don't need an Echo (or any other hardware) to participate. Besides, if you place in the contest, we’ll give you an Echo (plus a bunch of other stuff!)

We’re looking for the most creative and most useful API mashups. A great contest submission will tell a great story, have a target audience in mind, and make people smile.

There will be three winners for each category; categories are: 1) the most creative API mashup and 2) the most useful API mashup.

  • First place will get a trophy, Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, and $1,500 gift card.
  • Second place will get a trophy, Amazon Echo, and $1,000 gift card.
  • Third place will get a trophy, Amazon Echo, and $500 gift card.

The first 50 people to publish skills in both Alexa and the Hackster contest page (other than winners of this contest) will receive a $100 gift card. And everyone who publishes an Alexa skill can get a limited edition Alexa developer t-shirt.

Get started by visiting Hackster.io and sign up to participate.

About the Alexa Skills Kit

The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) enables developers to easily build capabilities, called skills, for Alexa.  ASK includes self-service APIs, documentation, templates and code samples to get developers on a rapid road to publishing their Alexa skills. For the Amazon Alexa API Mashup Contest, we will award developers who make the most creative and the most useful API mashups using ASK components.

September 16, 2016

Glenn Cameron

The Internet of Voice Challenge on Hackster.io has officially come to a close. Our spirits are high after seeing the heights of creativity, the quality of code, and the compelling narratives of the 101 entrants. Simply put, we are impressed with how developers connected Alexa with Raspberry Pi.

After careful deliberation, we are announcing the winners!

Winners of the Internet of Voice Challenge

Alexa Skills Kit + Raspberry Pi segment

1st Place: Roxie the Voice-Activated Pitching Machine by Terren Peterson

The cold efficiency of a pitching machine is a great way to learn to hit a ball, but it’s so impersonal. Instead, Robot Roxie is powered by Alexa and lets you ask for the next pitch.

Watch Robot Roxie in action.

2nd Place: Voice-Controlled K’nex Car by Austin Wilson

This developer revived his old builder set and decided it was more fun to control it with his voice. Watch the Alexa-enabled K’nex buggy show off some of its moves.

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June 22, 2016

Glenn Cameron

Today, we are happy to announce the Internet of Voice (IoV) Challenge on Hackster.io, a developer community dedicated to learning hardware.

We’ve partnered with Hackster.io and Raspberry Pi to challenge DIY artisans of the world to build compelling IoT voice experiences using Raspberry Pi and Amazon Alexa. Makers have already started inventing new IoV products. We’ve seen people open and close their blinds and fully control RGB lights with Alexa. Now, we are excited to see what you can invent. Learn more about the contest and hear from Eben Upton, co-founder of Raspberry Pi.

The contest will be split into two categories:

Best use of the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) and Raspberry Pi
Best use of the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) and Raspberry Pi

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June 16, 2016

Glenn Cameron

We launched the Alexa Skills Contest on Hackster.io in April. Two months later and we’ve reached the successful close of this developer contest. With 760 contestants and 100 published Alexa skill projects, innovative developers showed us how to use voice to remotely turn on a car, track the International Space Station, and more.

The best part is that each project’s instructions and source code are available on Hackster.io. Check out all the project submissions and see how contest participants used the Alexa Skills Kit to enable voice experiences in everyday connected lives.

Winning Hackster.io Projects

First, thanks to all the participants in this contest. The high quality of submissions made selecting winners a difficult decision. Contest submissions were scored on a variety of variables, including creativity, documentation, media quality, skill publication in the Alexa app, and more. Here are the top three winners and some honorable mentions.

First Place:

Morse Coder
An Alexa skill that helps you become an expert at Morse code. Encode any name and learn from among more than 2500 codes.

Second Place:

Tickle Monster
An entertaining, easy-to-understand game that uses voice interactions to reach beyond the Echo. Bringing families and friends together for a good laugh. 

Sub War
Dodge torpedoes as you hunt submarines in this multi-player interactive game for Alexa.

Who Represents me?
Find out who represents you in Congress and Senate by searching by your zip code.

Third Place:

The Pianist
The Pianist is your personal music assistant. Use it to help tune your instrument and warm up your vocals.

Daily Cutiemals
Who doesn’t like pictures of cute animals? Daily Cutiemals will send cute animal pictures straight to your email.

Tracker for ISS
Where is ISS right now? The ISS Tracker Alexa skill will calculate its status as it orbits around the Earth at faster-than-a-bullet speed.

Costa Rica News
Costa Rica news will get you the latest news from Costa Rica, all the information comes from local trusted sources like newspapers.

Opening Bell
An Alexa skill that retrieves the current performance of publicly traded stocks using company names.

Alexa Hurricane Center
Get the the latest data on tropical storms or learn more about storms from prior years.

Don’t forget to check out all the great Alexa projects on Hackster.io. It’s a great way to learn how to build your own Alexa skills and get inspired.

Ready to build your own Alexa skill? Build an Alexa skill with Node.js.

June 16, 2016 Update: After we posted the initial list of winners yesterday, it was brought to our attention that the contest rules allowed for additional winners. This blog post has been updated to reflect the additional winners.

May 27, 2016

Glenn Cameron

It started with Sam Machin’s brainchild, Alexa in the Browser. Born late last year at a hackathon, the project served as an inspiration for Echosim.io – a new online community tool for developers that simulates the look and feel of an Amazon Echo. With 3D JavaScript animations and Alexa Voice Service (AVS) integration, Echosim.io gives users the ability to experience a realistic interaction with Alexa capabilities and skills.

Echosim.io lives in your browser, so anyone, anywhere can access it and test their Alexa skills. You no longer need an Alexa-enabled device to test your skills. Developers worldwide can use Echosim.io to experience Alexa. Its simplicity makes it easy for anyone to understand what an Echo is and what it does without having to explain Alexa’s unique UX.

Try Echosim.io for yourself. Simply visit the website and log in with your Amazon account. If you want to test your Alexa skill, be sure to log in with your developer account. Click and hold the microphone button and speak a command. For example, say “Alexa, what’s the weather today?” When you let go of the button, Echosim.io processes and responds to your voice command – give it a try.

The Alexa Voice Service integration puts the power of Alexa behind the 3D Javascript animations. AVS enables you to integrate Alexa's built-in voice capabilities into your connected products. Carve your own little corner in IoT with a speaker and mic, a microcomputer, and the self-service tools at developer.amazon.com. What would you do with Alexa and a Raspberry Pi?

Haven’t built a skill yet? Get started with our step-by-step tutorials and build your first skill in under an hour.

  • Trivia Skill template - A great place to start for any first time Alexa skills developer. This tutorial steps you through the end-to-end process of building a solid trivia skill and submitting it for certification.
  • Fact Skill template - Another easy tutorial for both developers and non-developers to build an Alexa skill similar to "fact of the day" or "flash cards". 
  • How-to Skill template - This tutorial makes it easy to create a simple, direction-based skill for Alexa.

 

 

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