We just wrapped up an exciting week at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). You may have read some of the buzz around voice and Alexa at CES this year. Companies and developers expanded Alexa skills and integrations with dozens of announcements and demonstrations at CES. Developers like you are helping to build the future of a voice-driven world . Thanks to your work, Alexa now has over 7,000 skills and a growing number of integrations on third-party devices. [Read More]
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.[Read More]
For screen-based devices like the Amazon Fire TV with Alexa, Display Cards for Alexa offer the ability to render a “Now Playing” interface for music and books, as well as graphical information for weather, to-do and shopping lists, calendar updates, and Alexa skills when a user engages with Alexa.[Read More]
Volkswagen unveiled its plans to integrate with Amazon Alexa at CES yesterday during a moderated press event and booth tour.
The company will collaborate with Amazon to bring Alexa into the car through a voice integration on the head unit. In addition to the in-car Alexa integration, Volkswagen also announced a new Alexa skill that will help car owners get information about their vehicle from inside the home using an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or any Alexa device.[Read More]
Huawei announced today at CES that its Mate 9 model will be available in the United States starting on January 6, 2017. Building on the company’s history of innovation, the Mate 9 will be the first introduced smartphone with an app featuring Amazon Alexa.
The pre-installed application will provide users with a natural, convenient way to set alarms, build to-do lists, get weather and traffic reports, and more—all they have to do is ask. For existing Mate 9 owners, the app will be available through an over-the-air update.[Read More]
The Ford Motor Company announced a two-phased approach to integrating Amazon Alexa into its 2017 line of vehicles.
The first gives electric Ford vehicle owners the ability to connect to their cars from the comfort of their homes through Alexa devices such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap. The second phase, which starts this spring, enables Ford drivers with SYNC 3 AppLink to ask Alexa to search and transfer destinations to navigation, resume audiobooks, request news, add items to Amazon shopping list, and more—all from their car.[Read More]
LG Electronics announced today at CES its Smart InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator, a smart refrigerator now with Amazon Alexa.
The Smart InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator comes equipped with a 29-inch translucent touch LCD screen. Its Knock-On feature enables users to easily check the content inside by simply knocking on the screen twice.
The 2017 model will incorporate the Alexa Voice Service, allowing users to plan an entire dinner party, grocery shop, and more just by using their voice. Users will be able to search recipes, add any ingredients they’re missing to a shopping list, place orders from Amazon.com, and even control smart home products by enabling Alexa skills.
The kitchen is often one of the busiest rooms in the house. With Alexa, Smart InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator owners can manage their entire homes without lifting a finger.
Learn more about the Alexa integration and product availability by visiting LG’s press page.
Alexa is always getting smarter with new capabilities and services. Learn how AVS can add rich, voice-powered experiences to your connected products.Have questions? We’re here to help. Visit us on the AVS Forum or Alexa GitHub to speak with one of our experts.
DISH announced yesterday at CES that customers will soon be able to watch hands-free, voice-controlled TV by pairing a Hopper DVR with the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot.
DISH will introduce a new Alexa skill in the first half of 2017 that allows customers to navigate, search, and quick play TV on a Hopper DVR based on channel, title, actor, and genre just by using their voice.[Read More]
Today’s guest post comes from the Alexa Skills Marketing Team.
This year, developers have created thousands of skills for Alexa, expanding Alexa’s capabilities and⁞ offering consumers novel new voice experiences. As the year draws to a close, we're pleased to share the top customer picks for Alexa skills this year. From home automation to bringing zen into your life, here's a list of the most popular, innovative, and entertaining skills that customers enabled in 2016.
Control a wide range of connected devices with smart home skills. Set the temperature in your living room with SmartThings skill or adjust the lighting with Wink skill. See all customer picks >
Lifestyle & Fitness
Start your day right with exercise and intention. The Focus Word skill provides an inspirational word or phrase and 7-Minute Workout skill lets you get in your exercise quickly and efficiently. See all customer picks >
Music, Movies & TV
Relax at night while listening to Rain and Ocean sounds or catch up on your favorite series, like you can with The Voice skill. See all customer picks >
Education & Reference
Learn more and gain knowledge in new areas of interest with the help of these Alexa skills. Expand your vocabulary with Daily Buzzword skill or learn all about canines with Dog Facts skill. See all customer picks >
Food & Drink
Planning dinner is a lot easier with the help of the Campbell’s Kitchen skill. Don’t forget the cocktail with the help from The Bartender skill. See all customer picks >
Guest Blog post by Lauren Marinaro, Director of Smart Cities and Developer Engagement, ReadWriteHack. ReadWrite, a leading tech editorial platform for IoT and the Connected World, works to connect IoT thought leaders, influencers, and innovators in meaningful ways, including hackathons.
This year, Amazon Alexa teamed up with ReadWrite for two major hackathons — the IoT for Cities Hackathon at IoT World and the Industrial IoT Hackathon at SEMICON West. Each one connected over 100 developers with the latest IoT technology to create innovative, life-changing products over the course of two days.
"The IoT for Cities Hackathon is a place where developers can innovate around technologies that are actually making a difference in people's lives. We are excited to be part of these kinds of initiatives, as developers are constantly showing us new and valuable ways to use Alexa,” said Paul Cutsinger, Head of Alexa Voice Design Education.
And Amazon Alexa APIs were used in five out of eight of the winning solutions at SEMICON West and seven out of nine of the winning solutions at IoT World, including the Grand Prize.
What is it about Amazon Alexa’s voice service that makes it a favorite among IoT developers?
As we move towards a more connected and streamlined world, we expect more seamless interactions with our devices. For instance, if the person sitting next to you drops to the ground and you need to provide emergency services, wouldn’t you be able to act faster if the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on the wall was smart and could talk you through saving that person’s life — all while calling the Emergency Response team for you in the background?
That’s what Team Ciklum built, winning the Grand Prize at the IoT for Cities Hackathon at IoT World. They also incorporated three other products from GE, Pitney Bowes, and Cisco to create the ultimate Smart AED. But what stood out in their demo was Amazon Alexa’s voice-activated, life-saving support in a situation where seconds can mean the difference between life and death.
At the Industrial IoT Hackathon at SEMICON West, Team EcoByte took the Grand Prize by creating a pollution awareness service that provides interactive environmental information to enable enhanced well-being. The main selling point: it’s interactive, voice-activated, and hands-free, thanks to Amazon Alexa.
In a hackathon environment, where you typically have little time to create something, the opportunity to actually demo your project can determine if you win or lose.
Developers are not only competing for the top prize, they’re competing for the attention of sponsors, influencers, and decision-makers. This is an opportunity to get your hands on the latest technology, prove your skills and ability to take complex IoT products and platforms and create something connected, useful, and marketable.
Alexa gives competitors a chance to create something quickly (check out their easy to maneuver skills here: and have something to demo, even as a beginner coder. It really helps that Amazon’s team has used the Alexa Skills Kit to build skills on their own. Great Alexa evangelists, like Noelle LaCharite, have created capabilities of their own, such as an in-home voice-activated robot bartender.
Voice command is the interface of the future. Leading developers have figured this out, and that is probably a big reason why over two-thirds of the IoT solutions created for our hackathons incorporate Amazon Alexa’s APIs.
To meet with Amazon Alexa Evangelists and Solutions Architects and start creating your own Smart City projects using the Alexa Skills Kit, be sure to sign up for the Smart Cities Hackathon at CES in Las Vegas, January 7th + 8th. Sign up here.[Read More]