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Showing posts tagged with UK

June 11, 2018

Billie Heath

When Amazon Echo and Alexa launched in the UK, Ocado saw the opportunity to reach their customers in new ways. After months of rigorous user testing, the developers at Ocado Technology have created a skill that creates a seamless shopping experience via voice.

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May 30, 2018

Andrea Muttoni

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We are delighted to announce that kid skills published in the UK and Germany are now eligible to earn Alexa Developer Rewards. Earlier this month, we announced that Alexa supports kid skills in the UK and Germany.

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July 20, 2017

Andrea Muttoni

We are happy to announce that lock control and query capabilities are now also available to developers building skills for the UK.

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April 27, 2017

Dean Bryen

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Today, we are excited to announce that developers in the UK and Germany can now use speechcons to build more creative voice experiences with UK English and German words and phrases.

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March 28, 2017

Dean 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.Flash_briefing_UK_DE_blog.png

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:

  • Create a skill with news from any provider that authorizes you to use their content, and provides a public API.
  • If you’re a blogger you can configure your RSS feed to build a skill for your readers.
  • Podcast host? Simply host the audio for your podcast and provide a JSON feed to allow your listeners to hear your latest episode as they get ready for the day.
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December 22, 2016

Zoey Collier

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EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and its largest producer of low-carbon electricity. It produces around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations.

Bhavesh Limani is a project manager at Blue Lab, EDF Energy’s innovation accelerator near Brighton in the UK. Launched in 2015, Blue Lab monitors emerging technologies that help shape EDF Energy’s customer experience. One of its primary focus areas is the connected home, including how customers can manage their energy accounts and energy consumption.

When Amazon Echo launched in the United States, it grabbed Blue Lab’s attention. In collaboration with EDF Energy’s R&D UK Centre, the Blue Lab team obtained two Echo units in late 2015. It then began to explore linking voice technology to energy account functionality. Blue Lab wanted to be ready whenever Amazon released Echo and Alexa in the UK.

When Amazon started shipping Echo to UK customers on 28th September, EDF Energy was one of the first UK-specific skills made available to UK customers.

From proof-of-concept to an effective VUI design

Over the last few years, EDF Energy has worked to give customers more direct access and control of their energy accounts. They first created an online sales and service portal, followed by smartphone apps for iOS and Android users.

“Our customers expect digital solutions now,” says Stuart Roberts, Head of Digital Operations at EDF Energy. “We used Alexa as an opportunity to develop a voice channel to extend the online account management experience to voice.”

As the EDF Energy project team refined their proof of concept, they identified four use cases to meet core customer needs and provide a stand-out experience:

  • check account balance
  • check when next payment is due
  • check the contract end date
  • submit a meter reading

The EDF Energy team established an initial voice user interface (VUI) framework and collaborated with Amazon to refine the VUI. Investing time up front was key to minimizing changes and risks later in development.

“I would say most of our voice interface was well-developed from our first cycle,” says Bhavesh. “The Amazon team was absolutely brilliant in helping us to evaluate the various options.”

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