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April 11, 2017Martha Kang
When fans of University of California, Irvine’s Anteaters want the latest news on their team, they simply ask Alexa. UCI’s Alexa skill delivers game results, team updates, and special announcements whenever fans ask.[Read More]
April 08, 2017Marion Desmazieres
Today's post is by Sam Morgan, Head of Education at Makers Academy
This is part three of our Makers Academy series for Ruby developers. Learn more about this free training on the Alexa Skills Kit and read the first module and second module.[Read More]
April 07, 2017Michael Palermo
We are happy to announce tunable lighting control, a new feature in the Smart Home Skill API now available in the US with support for the UK and Germany coming soon. This is great news for those of you targeting color-changing lights or tunable white lights.[Read More]
April 06, 2017Glenn Cameron
April 06, 2017Martha Kang
Sixteen-year-old Austin Wilson loves building things. He enjoys figuring out how things are put together then finding ways to improve on them.
When Austin’s uncle noticed the teen’s knack for problem solving, he urged Austin to learn to code. That was five years ago, and the high school junior from Rocky River, Ohio has learned a number of programming languages since.
Last summer, Austin interned at a software company where he added C# and ASP.NET to the list. As his next step, he wanted to add artificial intelligence to his Raspberry Pi (RPi). A Google search led Austin to Hackster’s Internet of Voice Challenge (IoV) with Raspberry Pi where he discovered Alexa.[Read More]
April 06, 2017Marion Desmazieres
We’re excited to announce a new beginner course by Treehouse. The “Build an Alexa Skill” course will help guide both developers and non-developers alike through the skill-building process.[Read More]
April 05, 2017Jeff Blankenburg
Have you ever wondered how your skill usage is trending month over month? How many unique customers you have? When your peak times are?
You can now explore the answers to these and other data-driven questions using our new skil metrics dashboard.[Read More]
April 05, 2017Jeff Blankenburg
We are excited to announce two new features that will help you build skills that are even more engaging. Incorporate location information into your interactions using the new Device Address API. And gain deeper insights into your skill’s usage with the new metrics dashboard.[Read More]
When the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) launched in late 2015, developers began building engaging experiences for voice, ranging from simple to innovative. Today, an interdisciplinary team of students from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) is pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve. Meet Audrey Higgins (writer), Mohammed Tauseef (AWS and Unity integration), Na-Yeon Kim (2D/3D artist), Longyi Cheng (Unity Gameplay programmer), and Shuang You (3D artist).
Their class assignment: build a prototype, in two weeks, of a fully immersive virtual world. Specifically, the team created A.L.Ex.A. (The Assistant Linked Extemporization Array), a VR experience that follows a talkative repair drone destined to help users (or “guests” as they’re known in the VR world) stranded on remote system Planet 532.
March 30, 2017Marion Desmazieres
By Sam Morgan, Head of Education at Makers Academy
Editor’s note: This is part two of our Makers Academy series for Ruby developers. Learn more about this free training on the Alexa Skills Kit and read the first module.
Welcome to the second post in our series designed to take you from zero to hero using Alexa with Ruby. In our first module, we:
In this module, we'll handle variable data from users using slots. This module introduces:
This module uses:
We’re going to build a fact-checking mechanism so users can ask for facts about particular numbers. Here are some things users will be able to ask Alexa:
Alexa, ask Number Facts to tell me a trivia fact about 42.
Alexa, ask Number Facts to tell me a math fact about 5.
Users will be able to choose:
Alexa will respond with an interesting fact about that number that is specific to that type of fact.[Read More]
March 28, 2017Dean Bryen
Today, we are happy to announce Alexa developers can now add skills to the Flash Briefing on Alexa in UK English and German using the Flash Briefing Skill API, a new addition to the Alexa Skills Kit.
With the Flash Briefing Skill API, you no longer need to build a voice interaction model to handle customer requests for the news. When you configure your compatible RSS feed and build skills that connect directly to Flash Briefing, customers will be able to easily access your content via the Alexa Flash Briefing, which delivers pre-recorded audio clips and text-to-speech (TTS) updates.
The availability of Flash Briefing skills in local languages means that you can now deliver truly localized content to customers via voice. Here are a few ideas to get started with Flash Briefing skills:
March 27, 2017David Isbitski
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.[Read More]
March 23, 2017Marion Desmazieres
By Sam Morgan, Head of Education at Makers Academy
Editor’s note: This is part one of our Makers Academy series for Ruby developers. Learn more about this free training on the Alexa Skills Kit in this blog post.
Welcome to the first module of Makers Academy's short course on building Alexa skills using Ruby. Amazon's Alexa Skills Kit allows developers to extend existing applications with deep voice integration and construct entirely new applications that leverage the cutting-edge voice-controlled technology.
This course will cover all the terminology and techniques required to get fully-functional skills pushed live to owners of Alexa-enabled devices all around the world using Ruby and Sinatra.
This module contains a basic introduction to scaffolding a skill and interacting with Alexa. This module introduces:
During this module, you will construct a simple skill called “Hello World.” While building this skill, you will come to understand how the above concepts work and play together. This module uses:
Let's get started![Read More]
March 17, 2017Jeff Blankenburg
We all hold interesting data in our heads. Maybe it's a list of all the action figures we played with as a kid, specific details about the 50 U.S. states, or a historical list of the starting quarterbacks for our favorite football team. When we're with friends, sometimes we'll even quiz each other on these nuanced categories of information. It's a fun, interactive way to share our knowledge and learn more about our favorite topics.
You can now bring that experience to Alexa using our new quiz skill template. You provide the data and the number of properties in that data, and Alexa will dynamically build a quiz game for you.[Read More]
March 16, 2017Aaron Tang
The Alexa skills catalog is home to more than 10,000 skills thanks to our amazing developer community. As most you know, every Alexa skill submitted to Amazon undergoes a certification process prior to being published in our public catalog.
To help you navigate the certification process, let me share its main purpose and requirements, the top issues we're seeing, and some helpful reference material.
All certified skills meet our requirements for policy, security, functionality, and voice interface and user experience. These certification requirements help us maintain a high quality bar for our catalog. It also ensures that the third-party skills our customers consume on Alexa-enabled devices are safe and work well.
These certification requirements are specified in our technical documentation and certification checklist. We encourage you to save this link and reference it often as you develop your skills and prepare to submit them to Amazon. Doing this should...[Read More]