Hear from Leading Brands Innovating with Voice at Alexa Live 2020

Michelle Wallace Jul 09, 2020
Community & Events Alexa Live Inspiration Spotlight

Alexa Live, our virtual developer community event, is less than two weeks away. There’s a lot we’re looking forward to at this free event, from product updates in the keynote to technical breakout sessions to opportunities to interact with Alexa experts. But one thing we’re especially excited about is our lineup of guest speakers who will be sharing their Alexa success stories during breakout sessions throughout the day. Guest speakers will be sharing how they used specific features and tools to improve customer experiences and development workflows. Wondering who you’ll hear from during the day? Here are just a few of the brands that will be sharing their success stories about different areas of skill and device development.

Haven’t registered for Alexa Live yet? Register now for free.

Skill Development

Building Conversational Interfaces Faster with Alexa Conversations

Nick Cuneo, Principal Software Engineer, Cloud, iRobot

Nick Cuneo is the Principal Software Engineer, Cloud at iRobot. He designed and built the iRobot Home skill for Alexa from the ground up, including building his own frameworks for integrating with Alexa requests, responses and conducting testing, both unit and integration testing. The iRobot Cloud is entirely serverless, and Nick has also helped design and implement features around robot mapping and mobile app bug reporting.

Philosophical Creations
Steven Arkonovich, Founder, Philosophical Creations

Steven Arkonovich is a professor of philosophy and humanities at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. The primary focus of his teaching and scholarship is ethics. Steven was an Alexa enthusiast from the very beginning, actively writing Alexa applications before there even was an API. He has since developed a Ruby framework for quickly creating Alexa skills as web services. An avid audiophile, Steven’s excited about the possibilities that Alexa opens up to interact with digital media. He has published a skill providing Alexa integration with music server software, and worked with a music database company on their Alexa integration. Steven holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from U.C. Berkeley.

Engaging Customers with Skills that Combine Audio and Visuals

Mebz Qazi, Senior Solutions Architect, Audible

Mebz is working on building innovative solutions for Audible on Alexa. He has previously been a developer building for both web and mobile. More recently he has helped companies build voice experiences on the Google Assistant.

Kristy Caster, Senior Software Development Engineer, Alexa

Former U.S. Air Force Intelligence Analyst, Kristy Caster traded camo for coding and is now a Senior Software Engineer who specializes in building skills for Alexa. Outside of work, she studies machine learning and is currently obsessed with figuring out how to build bots to do stuff for her. Kristy develops Alexa skill templates to help companies and brands more effectively implement Alexa features into their skills.

Ethan Richardson, Co-Founder, APLTHEMES

Ethan Richardson is an international developer with over 10 years of hands-on experience in a diverse range of IT industries. He currently works on developing voice applications and products such as APLTHEMES, an online marketplace for APL themes templates. Ethan originates from the United Kingdom and now lives and operates from Romania. He believes in developing new and original experiences on voice platforms such as Amazon Alexa. He is a creative developer, pushing the boundaries of existing technologies and combining them to deliver new and engaging products and services.

Mohan Raj, Co-Founder, APLTHEMES

Mohan Raj is a passionate Alexa skill developer from Chennai, India. He has five years of experience working in IT industry and four years of experience in building voice apps. He is a proud achiever of the "Alexa Star Developer of India" Award in 2018 from Amazon AI Conclave. Mohan is the founder and CEO of Macde technologies, through which he has built more than 100 Alexa skills, and has also worked on multiple voice-based projects. Mohan is also a co-founder of APLTHEMES. He actively participates in hackathons and has won multiple prizes. He loves learning new technologies in his spare time.

Device Development

Using the Alexa Connect Kit to Connect Devices to Alexa

Mr. Christmas Inc.
Leslie Hermanson, President, Mr. Christmas Inc.

Leslie Hermanson has served as President of Mr. Christmas since 2009. She began working at Mr. Christmas in the summer of 1993 as an intern in Hong Kong, helping her grandfather, Merril Hermanson, manage the production of artificial Christmas trees in China. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Leslie returned to Mr. Christmas fewer than ten years later after practicing corporate law. She lives in Wyoming with her husband and children.

Creating Seamless Device Control Experiences with Smart Home Skills

Philips Hue, Signify
George Yianni, CTO, Philips Hue, Signify

George Yianni, CTO Philips Hue, joined Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) in 2007 as a connected lighting systems architect. George was part of the team that founded Philips Hue in 2011 and continues to be responsible for technology, architecture, security, and platform design for the smart home lighting system.

Reducing Device Setup Friction with Frustration-Free Setup

Chok Lam, Director of Engineering, TP-LINK

Chok is a seasoned software architect and development manager. He joined TP-LINK Research America in 2014 and built the Kasa Cloud team from the ground up. Prior to then, Chok designed and developed communications systems and cloud services for mobile applications in successful startups and large tech companies. He is now Head of Engineering at TPRA managing both Mobile Apps and Cloud development teams.

At Alexa Live, you’ll hear how these companies—plus even more including Uber and Doppio Games—added voice to their products and services to deliver compelling customer experiences. Register now for free to discover their stories and learn how you can build or enhance your own voice experience with Alexa.

Which sessions are you planning to attend at Alexa Live 2020? Share with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook using the hashtag #AlexaLive. See you on July 22!

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