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Alexa Blogs Alexa Developer Blogs /blogs/alexa/feed/entries/atom 2019-09-20T20:53:33+00:00 Apache Roller /blogs/alexa/post/33cce9ae-97a9-4b33-9652-3a0ea76ec5ef/designing-skills-for-in-skill-purchasing-part-1-scope-it-right Designing Skills for In-Skill Purchasing, Part 1: Scope It Right June Lee 2019-09-20T18:34:24+00:00 2019-09-20T18:38:52+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/ISP_Tech_Blog_Header._CB496589928_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>Welcome to Part 1 in our series on designing skills with in-skill purchasing (ISP)! Today we’ll explore the different types of in-skill purchases, how they might unlock new experiences for customers, and imagine how we might implement them.</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/ISP_Tech_Blog_Header._CB496589928_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>Welcome to Part 1 in our series on designing skills with in-skill purchasing (ISP)! When thinking about how to either build a skill from scratch around in-skill purchasing, or integrate ISP into a skill customers already love, it’s hard to know where to start and what to offer. Today we’ll explore the different types of in-skill purchases, how they might unlock new experiences for customers, and imagine how we might implement them in a hypothetical trivia skill that we’ll reference throughout the series, called Seattle Super Trivia.</p> <h2>What Are the Different Types of In-Skill Purchases?</h2> <p>But first, what are in-skill purchases? ISPs are a different experience than purchasing physical goods and services using Amazon Pay. (For more about Amazon Pay, visit <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/make-money/amazon-pay">Amazon Pay for Alexa Skills</a>.)In-skill purchases allow a customer to unlock premium content available on Alexa. The types of in-skill purchases are:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Subscription</strong>: Allows customers to pay a flat recurring fee for access to content. Subscriptions are best for skills that will offer a large catalog of content or be updated frequently. Subscriptions are best when the content is refreshed frequently and reliably. For our hypothetical trivia skill, we could offer a subscription to get extra questions every day with a daily bonus round, and extra content on weekends. Skills that offer subscriptions include <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Sony-Pictures-Television-Jeopardy/dp/B019G0M2WS/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Jeopardy&amp;qid=1563563966&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1">Jeopardy</a>! and <a href="https://www.amazon.com/TuneIn-Live/dp/B075SMLSDS">TuneIn Live</a>.</li> <li><strong>One-time purchase (OTP)</strong>: Allows customers to pay for access to an experience that will remain available for use. OTPs are best for skills that will offer content or experiences that are easily grouped into themes or related chunks that customers may want to experience multiple times. They are also best for experiences that can be easily expanded or remixed with the addition of similar content. For our trivia skill, we could offer themed packs that go into a customer’s library of extra content they can finish at their leisure. For our trivial skill, how about a Seattle history-themed pack? Seattle celebrities? There are a number of ways to group content into OTPs. Skills that offer one-time purchases include <a href="https://www.amazon.com/VoicePress-AI-Question-of-the-Day/dp/B01N6QUAXX/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Question+of+the+day&amp;qid=1563563988&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1">Question of the Day</a> (in the form of trivia packs).</li> <li><strong>Consumable:</strong> Allows customers to purchase in-skill products that can be used and then purchased again as part of the skill experience. Consumables work best in skills that will offer experiences that may easily be extended with the addition of content or features. For our trivia skill, we could offer extra hints for purchase when the customer is stuck. Similar to the actual game show, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Sony-Pictures-Television-Wants-Millionaire/dp/B07JQDHDL5/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Millionaire&amp;qid=1563564036&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1">Who Wants to be a Millionaire</a> offers consumable “lifelines” that help players through tough questions. Other skills that include consumables include <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Doppio-Games-The-Vortex/dp/B07JJV13G3/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Vortex&amp;qid=1563564142&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1">The Vortex</a>.</li> </ul> <h2>What Motivates Customers to Make an In-Skill Purchase?</h2> <p>Skills must offer some free content in order to pass certification. How else would a customer know your skill has awesome content they’ll want to experience more of? Free content helps build trust and intrigue with customers, which creates a more positive experience for them when they’re offered an in-skill purchase (called the “upsell,” which we’ll address in later posts). Some questions to help you decide what kind and how much free content to offer might include:</p> <ul> <li>What content would a customer find so valuable or entertaining that they would pay to continue engaging with it?</li> <li>What kinds of content do customers already pay for today on other digital platforms? How much free content might they already expect?</li> <li>Would any of the above monetization strategies enhance—or detract from—the customer experience?</li> <li>How much content will a customer need to experience to understand the skill’s functions?</li> </ul> <p>When the developers of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Volley-Inc-Yes-Sire/dp/B071ZR5HKR/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=yes+sire&amp;qid=1568996152&amp;s=digital-skills&amp;sr=1-1">Yes Sire</a>—a game where the player makes choices to gain influence and wealth—implemented in-skill purchasing, they added two types of in-skill purchases. Both enhanced a skill experience that their customers already loved:</p> <ol> <li>When a player reaches the end of play by making a decision that increases or depletes their wealth or power too much, they’re offered a consumable to save them from immediate execution by the king. This lets the player play a bit longer, but with the risk they may make another wrong move to upset the king again.</li> <li>A player can purchase a helper in the form of a “witch.” Playing with the witch introduces new kinds of decisions the player will have to make, extending the story possibilities.</li> </ol> <p>In the case of Seattle Super Trivia, we’ve made the following decisions:</p> <ul> <li>All players will get five questions a day for free. Five questions a day is enough for a brief but memorable session. One question would be too little for our players to get engaged and remember to come back. But if we offered too many questions, our players might run out of steam before they reach an opportunity to make a purchase.</li> <li>We’ll offer a subscription to those players who want to extend their daily play time with a bonus round.</li> <li>We’ll offer themed packs of trivia for those players who don’t want the experience to end.</li> <li>We'll offer one free hint a day before charging for more hints as consumables so the player understands the value of a hint first.</li> </ul> <p>An important factor in helping us decide what to offer for free is the lifetime of the free version of a skill. In our trivia skill, we’re not just offering the player five questions one time before we’ll ask them to purchase more; they’ll get five a day forever. The skill “lives” on for those who only want to play free experiences rather than becoming useless to those who decide they’ll never make a purchase. Finally, we’re going to let the player replay their questions that day, but it won’t affect their score. That way, multiple people in a household can enjoy the skill’s content (as Alexa tends to live in households with multiple people). Consider how your skill will continue to be useful and interesting to those customers who decline your upsells.</p> <h2>How Do I Price an In-Skill Purchase?</h2> <p>Next, we need to decide how much to charge for purchases. A developer can set the price of an in-skill purchase anywhere from a minimum of 99 cents USD to a maximum of 99.99 USD. When deciding how much to charge for your content, think in terms of what kind of experience the purchase buys, and how long that experience lasts. If you’re making a game, that might be measured in terms of hours of play, while subscribing to a radio service might include total potential hours of listening. Ask yourself these questions:</p> <ul> <li>What is the replay value? Is the content only enjoyable once? Can it be experienced multiple times? Is it infinitely re-mixable?</li> <li>How long will it take to finish the content?</li> </ul> <p>Finally, if you’re adding content to a skill that’s live in the Alexa Skills Store today, it’s important to know free content, once published, will have to remain free. So where do you put those upsells? Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, where we’ll talk about where and how to surface ISP upsells!</p> <h2>Enter the Alexa Skils Challenge: In-Skill Purchasing</h2> <p>As you learn designing skills for ISP, we encourage you to participate in the <a href="https://alexaisp.devpost.com/" target="_blank">Alexa Skills Challenge: In-Skill<strong> </strong>Purchasing</a><u><strong> </strong></u>with Devpost, an opportunity to invent the future of premium voice content with over $120k in prizes. Plus, challenge finalists will be invited to Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle for an exclusive one-day summit on monetization opportunities. Start building skills with in-skill purchasing and enter the challenge by November 12th.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/885ec615-314f-425f-a396-5bcffd33dd76/amazon-releases-data-set-of-annotated-conversations-to-aid-development-of-socialbots Amazon Releases Data Set of Annotated Conversations to Aid Development of Socialbots Larry Hardesty 2019-09-17T07:00:00+00:00 2019-09-17T17:40:50+00:00 <p>Data set includes more than 230,000 dialogue turns, most of which are annotated to indicate the sources of their factual assertions.</p> <p>Today I am happy to announce the <a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-prize-topical-chat-dataset/" target="_blank">public release</a> of the Topical Chat Dataset, a text-based collection of more than 235,000 utterances (over 4,700,000 words) that will help support high-quality, repeatable research in the field of dialogue systems.</p> <p>The goal of Topical Chat is to enable innovative research in knowledge-grounded neural response-generation systems by tackling hard challenges that are not addressed by other publicly available datasets. Those challenges, which we have seen universities begin to tackle in the <a href="http://www.alexaprize.com/" target="_blank">Alexa Prize</a> Socialbot Grand Challenge, include transitioning between topics in a natural manner, knowledge selection and enrichment, and integration of fact and opinion into dialogue.</p> <p>Each conversation in the data set refers to a group of three related entities, and every turn of conversation is supported by an extract from a collection of unstructured or loosely structured text resources. To our knowledge, Topical Chat is the largest social-conversation and knowledge dataset available publicly to the research community.</p> <p>Both the conversations themselves and the annotations linking them to particular knowledge sources were provided by workers recruited through Mechanical Turk. The data set does not include any conversations between Alexa and Alexa customers.&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="Topical-chat.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Topical-chat.png._CB452093884_.png?t=true" style="display:block; height:356px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:600px" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><sup><em>To build the Topical Chat Dataset, workers recruited throught Mechanical Turk engaged in instant-message conversations (right) in which they substantiated their assertions with information exracted from a collection of unstructured or loosely structured text resources (left).</em></sup></p> <p>To build the data set, we first identified 300 named entities in eight different topic categories that came up frequently in conversations with Alexa Prize socialbots. Then we clustered the named entities into groups of three, based on their co-occurrence in information sources. One information source, for instance, mentioned three entities on our list — Star Wars, planet, and earth — so they became a cluster. For each entity in a cluster, we collected several additional sources of information, and we divided the information corresponding to each cluster between pairs of Mechanical Turk workers, or “Turkers”.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Sometimes, Turkers would receive the same information. Sometimes one would receive only a subset of the information received by the other. And sometimes the information would be divided between the Turkers, so that each had knowledge that complemented the other’s.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The Turkers were then asked to carry on instant-messaging conversations about the knowledge sets they’d received. For each of their own messages, they were asked to document where they found the information they used and to gauge the message’s sentiment — happy, sad, curious, fearful, and so on. For each of their interlocutors’ messages, they were asked to assess its quality — whether it was conversationally appropriate. We then winnowed the conversations using a combination of manual and automatic review.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Once we’d arrived at our final data set, we used it to train different machine learning models to produce conversational responses to input utterances. In a <a href="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/amazon.jobs/3079_Paper._CB1565131710_.pdf" target="_blank">paper about the data set</a> that we’re presenting this week at Interspeech, we report automated and human evaluation of all three models’ performance, which we hope will serve as a baseline against which other research groups may measure the success of their own socialbot systems.</p> <p>The data set can be <a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-prize-topical-chat-dataset/" target="_blank">downloaded</a> from GitHub.</p> <p><em>Dilek Hakkani-T&uuml;r is a senior principal scientist in the Alexa AI group.</em></p> <p><a href="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/amazon.jobs/3079_Paper._CB1565131710_.pdf" target="_blank"><strong>Paper</strong></a>: “Topical-Chat: Towards Knowledge-Grounded Open-Domain Conversations”</p> <p><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/science" target="_blank"><strong>Alexa science</strong></a></p> <p><strong>Acknowledgments</strong>: This project came to be through the efforts and support of several people on the Alexa AI team. Thanks to Arindam Mandal, Raefer Gabriel, Mohammad Shami, Anu Venkatesh, Anjali Chadha, Anju Khatri, Anna Gottardi, Sanjeev Kwatra, Behnam Hedayatnia, Ben Murdoch, Karthik Gopalakrishnan, Mihail Eric, Seokhwan Kim, and Yang Liu for your work on the release.</p> <p><strong>Related</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-prize-topical-chat-dataset/" target="_blank">The Topical Chat Dataset on GitHub</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/5253edc1-e295-4e25-9d57-0e33873ad3f8/new-alexa-research-on-task-oriented-dialogue-systems">New Alexa Research on Task-Oriented Dialogue Systems</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/9615b190-9c95-452c-b04d-0a29f6a96dd1/amazon-unveils-novel-alexa-dialog-modeling-for-natural-cross-skill-conversations">Amazon Unveils Novel Alexa Dialog Modeling for Natural, Cross-Skill Conversations</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/bd05a237-bfbb-402c-99a5-67b6c5607e73/innovations-from-the-2018-alexa-prize">Innovations from the 2018 Alexa Prize</a></li> </ul> /blogs/alexa/post/e0d57f5e-569a-4143-bafc-ce421cb45af2/turning-dialogue-tracking-into-a-reading-comprehension-problem Turning Dialogue Tracking into a Reading Comprehension Problem Larry Hardesty 2019-09-16T13:14:24+00:00 2019-09-16T13:14:24+00:00 <p>Treating a conversation as a text, and dialogue state tracking as answering questions about the text, enables an 11.75% improvement in accuracy over the best-performing prior system.</p> <p>During a conversation between a customer and a dialogue system like Alexa’s, the system must not only understand what the customer is saying currently but also remember the conversation history. Only by combining the history with the current utterance can the system truly understand the customer’s requirements.&nbsp;</p> <p>Consequently, an important problem in task-oriented dialogue systems is <em>dialogue state tracking</em>, which is essentially estimating and tracking the customer’s goal throughout a conversation.&nbsp;</p> <p>Specifically, the dialogue state is a dictionary of {<em>slot_name</em>, <em>slot_value</em>} pairs, where <em>slot_name</em> can be defined by the dialogue system itself — for example, “Hotel_Stars” or “Hotel_Price” — and <em>slot_values</em> are entities mentioned in the dialogue — for example, “4” for “Hotel_Stars” and “Expensive” for “Hotel_Price”. The dialogue-state-tracking problem is to estimate all the available {<em>slot_name</em>, <em>slot_value</em>} pairs at each conversational turn.</p> <p><img alt="Slot_tracking.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Slot_tracking.png._CB436837753_.png?t=true" style="display:block; height:265px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:500px" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em><sub>Dialogue states at several successive dialogue turns</sub></em></p> <p>At this year’s meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics’ and the International Speech Communication Association’s Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue, we received a best-paper nomination for <a href="http://arxiv.org/pdf/1908.01946.pdf" target="_blank">work</a> on applying machine reading comprehension approaches to dialogue state tracking.&nbsp;</p> <p>Machine reading comprehension, which aims to teach machines to understand human-language documents, is a classical problem in natural-language processing. One common task of reading comprehension is to answer questions given a passage of text. In our proposed approach, we formulate dialogue state tracking as a question-answering-style reading comprehension problem. That is, we ask the dialogue system to answer the question “What is the <em>slot_value</em> for <em>slot_name</em>?” after reading a conversational passage.</p> <p><img alt="Slot_tracking_as_QA.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Slot_tracking_as_QA.png._CB436837749_.png?t=true" style="display:block; height:240px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:600px" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em><sup>&nbsp;Dialogue state tracking reinterpreted as question answering based on machine reading comprehension</sup></em></p> <p>Historically, research on dialogue state tracking has focused on methods that estimate distributions over all the possible values for a given slot. But modern task-oriented dialogue systems present problems of scale. It is not unusual to have thousands or even millions of values for a single slot — <em>song_name</em>, for example, in a voice-controlled music service. Calculating distributions over all those values for each turn of dialogue would be prohibitively time consuming.</p> <p>One advantage of our new approach is that, in reading-comprehension-based question answering, answers are usually extracted from the text as spans of consecutive words, so there’s no need to calculate massive distributions.</p> <p>Additionally, machine reading comprehension is an active research area that has made a lot of great process in recent years. By connecting it with dialogue state tracking, we can leverage reading-comprehension-based approaches and develop robust new models for task-oriented dialogue systems.&nbsp;</p> <p>After reformulating state tracking as reading comprehension, we propose a method with three prediction components:</p> <ol> <li>A slot carryover model: Predicting whether a {<em>slot_name</em>, <em>slot_value</em>} pair needs to be carried over from the previous turn or updated at the current turn;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A slot type model: If the slot carryover model decided to update the {<em>slot_name</em>, <em>slot_value</em>} pair, this model predicts the <em>type</em> of the <em>slot_value</em> from four values: <em>Yes</em>,<em> No</em>, <em>Don’t care</em>, <em>Span</em>; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A slot span model: If the slot type model decided that the type is <em>Span</em>, this model extracts the <em>slot_value</em> span from the dialogue, represented as [<em>start position</em>, <em>end position</em>] in the conversation.<br /> &nbsp;</li> </ol> <p><img alt="Architecture.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Architecture.png._CB436837745_.png?t=true" style="display:block; height:163px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:700px" /></p> <p style="text-align:center">&nbsp;<br /> <em><sup>Our reading comprehension system for dialogue state tracking. The prediction (top) layer has three components (from right to left): (1) a slot carryover model, which predicts whether a particular slot needs to be updated from one turn to the next; (2) a slot type model, which predicts the type of the slot values (</sup></em><sup>Yes, No, Don’t Care, Span</sup><em><sup>); and (3) a slot span model, which predicts the start and end points of the value within the dialogue.</sup></em></p> <p>In tests involving a dataset with 37 {<em>slot_name</em>, <em>slot_value</em>} pairs, our approach yielded a 6.5% improvement in slot-tracking accuracy over the previous state of the art. Furthermore, if we combine our method with the traditional state-tracking approach — the way we combined methods in the HyST system described in our previous <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/5253edc1-e295-4e25-9d57-0e33873ad3f8/new-alexa-research-on-task-oriented-dialogue-systems" target="_blank">blog post</a> — we are able to further advance the state of the art by 11.75%.</p> <p>We also did a comprehensive analysis of our models. Our span-based reading comprehension model has an accuracy of up to 96% per slot on development data, validating our approach. Most errors appear to be coming from the slot carryover model — i.e., the decision whether to update a <em>slot_value</em> or not. We found that the majority of these errors result from delayed annotation in the training data — i.e., slot values that were annotated one or more turns after they appeared in user utterances. We thus published a <a href="https://arxiv.org/pdf/1907.01669.pdf" target="_blank">cleaner version</a> of the dataset we used, to fix the annotations in the original version.</p> <p><em>Shuyang Gao is an applied scientist in the Alexa AI group.</em></p> <p><a href="https://arxiv.org/pdf/1908.01946.pdf" target="_blank"><strong>Paper</strong></a>: &quot;Dialog State Tracking: A Neural Reading Comprehension Approach&quot;</p> <p><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/science" target="_blank"><strong>Alexa science</strong></a></p> <p><strong>Acknowledgments</strong>: Sanchit Agarwal, Abhishek Sethi, Tagyoung Chung, Dilek Hakkani-T&uuml;r, Rahul Goel, Shachi Paul, Anuj Kumar Goyal, Angeliki Metallinou</p> <p><strong>Related</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/5253edc1-e295-4e25-9d57-0e33873ad3f8/new-alexa-research-on-task-oriented-dialogue-systems">New Alexa Research on Task-Oriented Dialogue Systems</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/b4b33a98-c931-4129-b96a-b2034db2137c/who-s-on-first-how-alexa-is-learning-to-resolve-referring-terms">Who’s on First? How Alexa Is Learning to Resolve Referring Terms</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/9615b190-9c95-452c-b04d-0a29f6a96dd1/amazon-unveils-novel-alexa-dialog-modeling-for-natural-cross-skill-conversations">Amazon Unveils Novel Alexa Dialog Modeling for Natural, Cross-Skill Conversations</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/bd05a237-bfbb-402c-99a5-67b6c5607e73/innovations-from-the-2018-alexa-prize">Innovations from the 2018 Alexa Prize</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/0a75134b-baca-42ac-8463-c08f63376af2/context-aware-deep-learning-method-boosts-alexa-dialogue-system-s-ability-to-recognize-conversation-topics-by-35">Context-Aware Deep-Learning Method Boosts Alexa Dialogue System’s Ability to Recognize Conversation Topics by 35%</a></li> </ul> <p><br /> &nbsp;</p> /blogs/alexa/post/576e2190-ec75-4bb0-85d1-4b22e8638f65/tado-per-sprache-ist-die-smart-home-steuerung-ein-kinderspiel tado&deg;: „Per Sprache ist die Smart Home-Steuerung ein Kinderspiel“ Kristin Fritsche 2019-09-16T08:00:00+00:00 2019-09-16T08:00:00+00:00 <p><img alt="tado&deg;: „Per Sprache ist die Smart Home-Steuerung ein Kinderspiel“" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/1184131_DE_TADO_BLOGBANNER_1565011804.jpg._CB438554890_.jpg?t=true" /></p> <p>Heizung und Klimaanlage werden mit Informationen aus dem Internet immer smarter. In diesem Blogartikel erz&auml;hlen die Entwickler der Firma tado&deg;, wie sie mit Hilfe ihres Alexa Skills eine komfortable Smart Home-Steuerung f&uuml;r ihre Kunden anbieten.</p> <p><img alt="tado&deg;: „Per Sprache ist die Smart Home-Steuerung ein Kinderspiel“" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/1184131_DE_TADO_BLOGBANNER_1565011804.jpg._CB438554890_.jpg?t=true" /></p> <p>Heizung und Klimaanlage werden mit Informationen aus dem Internet immer smarter. In diesem Blogartikel erz&auml;hlen die Entwickler der Firma tado&deg;, wie sie mit Hilfe <a href="https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01EJJFWV4?ref&amp;ref=cm_sw_em_r_as_dp_d2SI8NS2m6gVg" target="_blank">ihres Alexa Skills</a> eine komfortable Smart Home-Steuerung f&uuml;r ihre Kunden anbieten.</p> <p>Ein Drittel des globalen Energieverbrauchs entsteht durch das Heizen und K&uuml;hlen von Geb&auml;uden. Das Technologieunternehmen tado&deg; m&ouml;chte diesen Verbrauch mit smarten L&ouml;sungen senken, Energie sparen und die Nutzung der Anlagen gleichzeitig effizienter machen: „Es gibt Anlagen, die bereits seit 10, 20 oder 30 Jahren in den Kellern schlummern und oft technologisch veraltet sind,“ erkl&auml;rt Christian Deilmann, Managing Director und Mitgr&uuml;nder bei tado&deg;. „Wir sind &uuml;berzeugt, dass wir die Effizienz, Komfort und Nutzerinteraktion von Heizungen und Klimaanlagen verbessern k&ouml;nnen, wenn wir die Anlagen internetf&auml;hig machen und zum Beispiel mit Wetterdaten oder Daten zur Anwesenheitserkennung f&uuml;ttern. So k&ouml;nnen wir u. a. feststellen, ob einzelne R&auml;ume &uuml;berhaupt benutzt werden und geheizt/gek&uuml;hlt werden m&uuml;ssen.“</p> <h2>Ein exzellentes Kundenerlebnis bieten</h2> <p>In den vergangenen Jahren ist tado&deg; in verschiedene L&auml;nder expandiert, zur Strategie geh&ouml;rte auch die Integration mit Amazon Alexa: „Wir wollen eine exzellente Experience liefern, damit der Nutzer einfach, komfortabel und mit Freude seine Smart Home-Ger&auml;te nutzen kann. Dazu geh&ouml;rt heute auch die Sprachsteuerung. Die Kunden fragen nach diesem Service und wir sind der Meinung, dass es die User-Experience deutlich besser macht. Ger&auml;te mit der Stimme zu steuern, ist eben am einfachsten. Deshalb ist die Integration von Amazon Alexa ein fester Bestandteil unserer Entwicklung“, erg&auml;nzt Deilmann.</p> <h2>Entwicklung mit der Alexa Smart Home-Skill API</h2> <p>tado&deg; ist europ&auml;ischer Launch-Partner von Amazon im Bereich Smarte Thermostate. Gemeinsam arbeiten wir daran, die Nutzererfahrung f&uuml;r die Smart Home-Steuerung von Heizungen und Klimaanlagen zu optimieren. „Wir haben Beispiele gegeben, wie Sprachbefehle im Smart Home-Bereich aussehen k&ouml;nnen, so etwa „Stelle die Temperatur im Wohnzimmer auf 21 Grad“, erkl&auml;rt der Gesch&auml;ftsf&uuml;hrer. Im tado&deg; Smart Home-Skill lassen sich die verschiedenen tado&deg; Produkte steuern, etwa das Smarte Thermostat, das Smarte Heizk&ouml;rper-Thermostat oder die Smarte Klimaanlagen-Steuerung. Alles was mit tado&deg; m&ouml;glich ist, geht heute auch per Sprachsteuerung. So kann das Thermostat per Sprachsteuerung die Temperatur w&auml;rmer oder k&uuml;hler einstellen, die Heizung an- oder ausschalten.</p> <p>F&uuml;r den Nutzer ergibt das eine komplett neue Erfahrung mit seiner Heizung: Man kann dank Sprachsteuerung zum Beispiel den aktuellen Status seiner Ger&auml;te abrufen und fragen: „Alexa, wie ist die Temperatur im Wohnzimmer?“ oder „Alexa, auf welche Temperatur ist das Badezimmer eingestellt?“. Alles, ohne dass man sein Smartphone erst suchen und entriegeln muss, direkt per Sprache, w&auml;hrend man beim Fernsehen auf dem Sofa liegt. „Durch die Sprachsteuerung wird auch die Zeit am Bildschirm insgesamt reduziert. Sie macht das Leben zuhause ein St&uuml;ck einfacher“, res&uuml;miert Christian Deilmann.</p> <h2>Entwicklung mit der Alexa Smart Home-Skill API</h2> <p>„Die Interaktionen mit den Ger&auml;ten werden dabei von Amazon vorgegeben“, erkl&auml;rt Timo Streckfu&szlig;, Software Engineer, der im Entwicklungsteam von Anfang an dabei war. „Man nutzt das vorbereitete Interaktionsmodell, was den Vorteil hat, dass man dieses nicht selbst entwickeln muss – diese Arbeit entf&auml;llt komplett, da Amazon hier schon das Heavy Lifting gemacht hat.“ So m&uuml;ssen die Entwickler von tado&deg; nur auf so genannte „Directives“ wie „Heizung im Wohnzimmer auf 23 Grad“ reagieren – und diese entsprechend f&uuml;r die Steuerung verarbeiten. Au&szlig;erdem m&uuml;ssen die Entwickler keine &Uuml;bersetzungsarbeit leisten, da alle Befehle bereits von Amazon in verschiedenen Sprachen bereitgestellt werden.</p> <p>Um bestm&ouml;glich mit den AWS Lambda-Funktionen zu arbeiten, stiegen die Entwickler auf JavaScript mit NodeJS um: „Wir kommen aus dem Java-Bereich und haben daher zuerst angefangen mit Java zu entwickeln, haben dann aber schnell gemerkt, dass das nicht gut geeignet ist, weil es zum Teil sehr lange dauert, bis die Funktion initial geladen ist. Wenn der Nutzer acht Sekunden warten muss, bis die Heizung reagiert, f&uuml;hlt sich das sehr tr&auml;ge an“, erkl&auml;rt der Software-Entwickler. JavaScript mit NodeJS ist laut dem Entwickler-Team heute praktisch die Referenz Umgebung f&uuml;r Alexa Skills mit Lambda. Dabei setzen die Entwickler nicht auf plain JavaScript, sondern setzen das Superset TypeScript ein. „TypeScript bringt einige Vorteile mit sich. Die Syntax und die starke Typisierung f&uuml;hren zu besser lesbarem Code - der auch einfacher zu warten ist - und letztendlich zu besserer Codequalit&auml;t“, kommentiert der Software Engineer.</p> <h2>Flexible Entwicklung: Neue Features schnell nutzen</h2> <p>Vor kurzem wurde f&uuml;r Alexa Smart Home-Skills ein neuer Sprachbefehl („Mache etwas f&uuml;r xyz Stunden“) eingef&uuml;hrt, um die Ger&auml;te zu steuern. „Da hatten wir schon einen perfekten Match mit unserem Timer f&uuml;r die manuelle Steuerung. So konnten wir es sehr schnell, praktisch in einer Woche implementieren, testen und unseren Kunden zur Verf&uuml;gung stellen“, erkl&auml;rt der Entwickler. „Unser Team zeichnet sich dadurch aus, dass wir neue Alexa-Features sehr schnell umsetzen und unseren Kunden so immer aktuelle Services in der bestm&ouml;glichen Qualit&auml;t bieten k&ouml;nnen“, erkl&auml;rt Streckfu&szlig;. M&ouml;glich wird das auch durch interne Automatisierung. Was entwickelt ist, geht durch interne Code-Reviews und dann direkt auf das Test-Environment. Danach folgen manuelle Tests, bevor es direkt in die Produktion geht und f&uuml;r die Kunden live verf&uuml;gbar ist.</p> <h2>N&auml;chster Schritt: Neue Ger&auml;te im Smart Home</h2> <p>Damit ist noch lange nicht das Ende der M&ouml;glichkeiten erreicht: K&uuml;nftig wollen die tado&deg; Entwickler &uuml;ber Amazon Alexa noch weitere Funktionen ihrer App integrieren, wie zum Beispiel den Air Comfort Skill oder den Heizung-Reparaturservice. Das Ziel von tado&deg; bleibt dabei immer gleich: Den besten Komfort und maximale Ersparnis f&uuml;r die Kunden zu erreichen und die Heizung noch intelligenter zu machen – Alexa Skills werden mit Sicherheit ein Teil davon sein.</p> <h2>Ressourcen</h2> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.tado.com/de/" target="_blank">tado&deg;</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/smarthome/understand-the-smart-home-skill-api.html" target="_blank">Amazon Alexa Smart Home API</a></li> <li><a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-smarthome" target="_blank">Alexa Smart Home Code Samples auf GitHub</a></li> <li><a href="https://nodejs.org/en/" target="_blank">Node.js</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.typescriptlang.org" target="_blank">TypeScript </a>(Superset von JavaScript)</li> </ul> /blogs/alexa/post/1b35938c-20d6-4f06-80f6-5b2f60400b8d/announcing-the-winners-of-jp-alexa-developer-skills-award Alexa Developerスキルアワード2019受賞結果 Motoko Onitsuka 2019-09-12T01:53:14+00:00 2019-09-12T01:53:14+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/jp/blog_JP_skill_award_2019_954_240._CB1568019434_.png" style="height:480px; width:1908px" /></p> <p>何度でも使いたくなるような魅力あふれるAlexaスキル開発の場をご提供することを目的に開催された<a href="https://amazonalexaskillawards2019.splashthat.com">Alexa Developer スキルアワード2019</a>の受賞者を発表いたします。日本での開発者向けコンテストとして2回目の今回は、応募作品がスキルストアに公開されていることが条件となり、昨年と比べて応募のハードルが上がりましたが、5月9日~8月25日の応募期間内に100件を超えるご応募をいただきました。スキルを開発いただいた全ての開発者の皆様に、心から感謝いたします。</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/jp/blog_JP_skill_award_2019_954_240._CB1568019434_.png" style="height:480px; width:1908px" /></p> <p>何度でも使いたくなるような魅力あふれるAlexaスキル開発の場をご提供することを目的に開催された<a href="https://amazonalexaskillawards2019.splashthat.com">Alexa Developer スキルアワード2019</a>の受賞者を発表いたします。日本での開発者向けコンテストとして2回目の今回は、応募作品がスキルストアに公開されていることが条件となり、昨年と比べて応募のハードルが上がりましたが、5月9日~8月25日の応募期間内に100件を超えるご応募をいただきました。スキルを開発いただいた全ての開発者の皆様に、心から感謝いたします。<br /> 審査は、1)継続性(ユーザーが何度でも使いたくなるスキル)、2)わかりやすさ(ユーザーが使いやすい音声インターフェイス)、3)独創性(アイデア・技術が独創的)の3項目を基準に行われました。<br /> 今回の応募作品には、評価基準の一つである「継続性」を意識した、会話デザインの洗練されたスキルが多数ありました。APLやSSMLを活用して独自の世界観を創造したゲームスキルや、ウェブゲームをAlexaがナビゲートするような斬新なアイデアもあり、スキル開発が新たなステージへ進化している様子が伺えました。<br /> <br /> 受賞作となったスキルはAmazon.co.jpの<a href="https://www.amazon.co.jp/ref=askdev19/b?ie=UTF8&amp;node=7470919051">スキルアワード特集ページ</a>でも本日から~10月9日まで、掲載されます。ぜひ使ってみてください。<br /> 以下、スキル名、応募者・チーム名、応募者によるスキルの説明、紹介動画、審査委員からのコメントの順にご紹介しています。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>最優秀賞 Alexa Developer スキルグランプリ</strong></h2> <p><a href="https://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B07WV9N617">どうぶつびより - 動物をふらせて消して痛快ゲーム!</a>(ボイスアップラボ株式会社)<br /> どうぶつびよりは「対戦型 落ちものパズルゲーム」。スマホやパソコンのWebゲームブラウザでゲーム画面を見ながらプレイします。同時にアクセスする他のプレイヤーとリアルタイムで協力したりバトルできます。好きな動物をふらせて、4個つなげてどんどん消して、高得点を目指せ!<br /> 動画:<a href="https://youtu.be/wnJQ9BcRn2c">https://youtu.be/wnJQ9BcRn2c</a><br /> 審査コメント:声で対戦できるというこれまでにないコンセプトで、Alexaの使い方の幅を広げている。高度な技術が使われているにも関わらず、シンプルで誰でも簡単に遊べるVUIデザインと、洗練されたグラフィクスで魅力あふれるスキルに仕上がっている。ゲームの完成度も高い。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>部門賞</strong></h2> <h2><strong>ゲーム部門</strong></h2> <p><a href="https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B07W6SCCS1">ダーツの対戦</a>(五十嵐祐介)<br /> 2人でのダーツの対戦をサポートするスキルです。ゲーム選択後、ダーツの各ラウンドでの得点を伝えると、自動的に得点を計算し、ゲームの進行をしてくれます。ゲームの進行をスムーズにし、スキルを使いやすくする複数の便利機能を搭載しています。<br /> 動画:<a href="https://youtu.be/Uva5iGdTNLI">https://youtu.be/Uva5iGdTNLI</a><br /> 審査コメント:気軽に声でスコアを記録でき、Alexaと親和性が高い。プレイヤーがゲームに集中できるようにAlexaがスコアリングをアシストするというコンセプトは、ほかのゲームやスポーツへの応用の可能性も考えられる。ゲームに必要な情報を画面にうまく表示できている。</p> <h2><strong>キッズ部門</strong></h2> <p><a href="https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B07W1J54Q9/">サカナノジカン</a>(サカナノジカン)<br /> 「サカナノジカン」はEcho ShowやEcho Spotなど、画面付きEcho端末を水槽に見立てて サカナ育成を楽しむスキルです。(画面のないEcho端末でも楽しむことができます。)<br /> 動画:<a href="https://youtu.be/nYXrQD8EBxA">https://youtu.be/nYXrQD8EBxA</a><br /> 審査コメント:コンセプトが分かりやすく、「育てる」だけでなく、遊びのギミックがちりばめられていて、飽きのこない工夫が施されている。ビジュアルもポップで楽しい。親子で楽しめる育成ゲームを音声とビジュアルを活用し、シンプルでわかりやすいVUIで仕上げている。</p> <h2><strong>ヘルスケア部門</strong></h2> <p><a href="https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B07WW3HZXB">ランナビ</a>(CYハッカソン&amp;Lab. チームランナビ )<br /> ランナビは、あなたのランニングをサポートするスキルです。目標の消費カロリーに基づいて、走行距離と走行時間を算出します。途中で消費カロリーを確認することもできます。<br /> 動画:<a href="https://youtu.be/uAQMPrcXHaE">https://youtu.be/uAQMPrcXHaE</a><br /> 審査コメント:BGMが流れる工夫や、途中で消費カロリーがわかるのが良い。デバイスの位置情報を活用したアイデアであり、今後Alexa Mobile Accessory Kitを採用したモバイルデバイスの普及に伴い、様々な発展系が期待される。</p> <h2><strong>シニア部門</strong></h2> <p><a href="https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B07S91M88Y">回想新聞 for Alexa</a>(回想新聞社&ヘッドウォータース )<br /> 昭和の懐かしいニュースを伝える「回想新聞」のバックナンバーを音声でも楽しめるスキルです。レクリエーションやお家での会話に役立てたり、読み聞かせや問いかけを通して、脳トレに最適な「回想法」を気軽に体験できるコンテンツとしてもお役立てください。<br /> 動画:<a href="https://youtu.be/W0pwAzknY8Q">https://youtu.be/W0pwAzknY8Q</a><br /> 審査コメント:シニア世代が、昔を懐かしむニーズにマッチしている。コンテンツも充実しており、継続性が見込まれる。読み上げのスピードもゆっくりで聞きやすく、シニアに優しいVUIに仕上げられている。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>特別賞</strong></h2> <h2><strong>マルチモーダル賞</strong>:音声と画像の両方で優れたインターフェースをAPLで実現しているスキル</h2> <p><a href="https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B07RC3VVFG/">仮想彼女</a>(Create a fantasy YUMA)<br /> 人工知能ユマと会話できます。Echo Spotにも対応しており、ユマとの会話パターンを10個増やすことのできる「AIBOX」の購入も可能です!<br /> 動画:<a href="https://youtu.be/mXLZ2mEQ4yo">https://youtu.be/mXLZ2mEQ4yo</a><br /> 審査コメント:リップシンクの画像を効果的に利用できている。APL Videoと音声ファイルをうまく制御することで、自然な会話やリアクションを演出している。会話のパターンが豊富で、ユーザーが飽きないように工夫されている。</p> <h2><strong>クリエイティビティ賞</strong>:アイデアが特に独創的なスキル</h2> <p><a href="https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B07WFRB95S">ステルスインベーダー</a>(WonderTips)<br /> ステルスインベーダーは音声を頼りに方向や射撃の指示を行い、 見えない敵を撃破する新感覚音声射撃シミュレーションゲームです。<br /> 動画:<a href="https://youtu.be/l6U0_JEixAo">https://youtu.be/l6U0_JEixAo</a><br /> 審査コメント:聴覚を研ぎ澄まさなければ敵に命中できない難しさがユニーク。ゲーム自体はシンプルだが、独特な世界観があり、ユーザーを夢中にさせる魅力がある。</p> /blogs/alexa/post/5b7d2d4a-f310-4e56-9437-2d9332fc4bbf/deep-dive-how-to-build-an-alexa-connected-musical-keyboard-with-the-alexa-gadgets-toolkit Deep Dive: How to Build an Alexa-Connected Musical Keyboard with the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit Karen Yue 2019-09-11T20:50:50+00:00 2019-09-11T20:50:50+00:00 <p><a href="http://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/5b7d2d4a-f310-4e56-9437-2d9332fc4bbf/deep-dive-how-to-build-an-alexa-connected-musical-keyboard-with-the-alexa-gadgets-toolkit" target="_blank"><img alt="Musical Teardown" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/gadgets/blog_agt-keyboard_954x240._CB1568159247_.png" style="height:480px; width:1908px" /></a></p> <p>Want to start building with Custom Interfaces, but don’t know where to start? To demonstrate the process for building a prototype, we created an Alexa-connected musical keyboard using the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit.</p> <p><img alt="Musical Teardown" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/gadgets/blog_agt-keyboard_954x240._CB1568159247_.png" style="height:480px; width:1908px" /></p> <p>In August, we released Custom Interfaces, the newest feature available in the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit. Custom Interfaces enable you to connect <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/alexa-gadgets/smart-toys" target="_blank">gadgets, games, and smart toy products</a> with immersive skill-based content—unlocking creative ways for customers to experience your product. Using the Custom Interface Controller, you can design voice experiences that are tailored to your product’s unique functionality.<br /> <br /> Want to start building with Custom Interfaces, but don’t know where to start? To demonstrate the process for building a prototype, we created our own Alexa-connected musical keyboard using the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit. Alexa lights up a sequence of keys on the keyboard corresponding to a given song. When user plays that sequence back, Alexa provides feedback on whether the user pressed right sequence of keys or not. Here’s a video of the experience:<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="385" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/td65hljQsV0" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>The prototype for this musical keyboard uses the Color Cycler sample provided in the Alexa Gadgets Raspberry Pi Samples Github repository, and builds upon the sample to enable new and unique functionality to teach people how to play different songs.</p> <h2>The Hardware</h2> <p>The Color Cycler sample uses a single RGB LED and a simple button for the hardware, and uses an Alexa skill to respond to a button press before the experience ends. For the keyboard experience, we needed multiple LEDs to indicate what keys should be pressed, and multiple buttons – a single button for each key. Once the new hardware has been added, it looked something like this without the keyboard overlay:</p> <p><img alt="Hardware" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/gadgets/hardware._CB1568160245_.jpg" style="height:491px; width:600px" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As you can see, each LED is aligned to its corresponding button used for each key. With the updated hardware in place, the keyboard can light up when a customer chooses a song from within the skill.</p> <h2>Illuminating Keys in a Sequence</h2> <p>With the hardware assembled, LEDs can be illuminated to teach the customer which keys to press to play the song. When the skill starts, the Enumeration API is used to verify there is a gadget paired to the Echo device. If so, the customer can select a song they want to learn to play. Based on the chosen song, a Custom Directive is sent to the paired Alexa Gadget via a Custom Interface that has been defined. The JSON sent from the skill looks like this:</p> <pre> { &quot;type&quot;:&quot;CustomInterfaceController.SendDirective&quot;, &quot;header&quot;: { &quot;name&quot;: &quot;ledSequencer&quot;, &quot;namespace&quot;: &quot;custom.PianoMessaging&quot; }, &quot;endpoint&quot;: { &quot;endpointId&quot;: &quot;...&quot; }, &quot;payload&quot;: { &quot;gapTime&quot;: 500, &quot;sequence&quot;: '112143', &quot;init_delay&quot;: 1000 } }</pre> <p>The payload specifies which notes should be played, the time between each note, and a delay that controls when the sequence should start playing. On the gadget side, the payload is parsed and used to illuminate the LEDs in accordance to the song that was chosen.</p> <h2>Hitting the Right Notes</h2> <p>Illuminating the keys to indicate which notes should be hit is only half of the experience. In order to learn the song, the customer must press the keys in the correct order – otherwise, Alexa will adapt the experience accordingly. Using the Custom Interface we defined previously, events from the Alexa Gadget can be sent to the skill, giving Alexa the opportunity to respond and customize the experience.<br /> <br /> On the gadget side, two types of events are sent to the skill: an event that lets the skill know that the LED sequence has stopped playing and the skill should start listening to key presses, and an event that is sent to the skill on each key press. The event for the individual key press looks like this:</p> <pre> { &quot;header&quot;: { &quot;namespace&quot;: &quot;Custom.PianoMessaging&quot;, &quot;name&quot;: &quot;keyStroke&quot; }, &quot;payload&quot;: { &quot;keystroke&quot;: &quot;1&quot; } }</pre> <p>As each key press is sent to the skill, the sequence can be compared to the master sequence stored as a session attribute within the skill. If the customer presses all the right keys, it should match the session attribute, and they can continue through the skill. If they make a mistake, the sequence will not match what’s in the session attribute, and Alexa can jump in to help.</p> <h2>Start Building Today with the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit</h2> <p>These highlighted elements of the musical keyboard are unique to this type of product. There’s so much more to dive into with Custom Interfaces, Alexa skills, and building an Alexa Gadget that really showcases the capabilities of your product. Check out these resources to start building your prototype:</p> <ol> <li>Learn more about <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/ca2cfbfb-37a2-49de-840c-f06f6ad8b74d/introducing-custom-interfaces-enabling-developers-to-build-dynamic-gadgets-games-and-smart-toys-with-alexa" target="_blank">Custom Interfaces</a></li> <li>Reference the <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/alexa-gadgets-toolkit/understand-alexa-gadgets-toolkit.html" target="_blank">Custom Interfaces technical documentation</a></li> <li>Check out the <a href="https://github.com/alexa/Alexa-Gadgets-Raspberry-Pi-Samples/tree/master/src/examples/colorcycler" target="_blank">sample application that uses Custom Interfaces and step-by-step guides</a></li> <li>Check out our <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZyA7Xst2Y8&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">YouTube video</a></li> </ol> /blogs/alexa/post/0dfa897d-8545-4ff9-ab9b-9cab853b7f68/enabling-offline-access-to-alexa-in-vehicles-with-local-voice-control-extension-to-alexa-auto-sdk-v2-0 Enabling Offline Access to Alexa in Vehicles with Local Voice Control Extension to Alexa Auto SDK v2.0 Adam Foster 2019-09-10T22:39:22+00:00 2019-09-10T22:39:22+00:00 <p><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/0dfa897d-8545-4ff9-ab9b-9cab853b7f68/enabling-offline-access-to-alexa-in-vehicles-with-local-voice-control-extension-to-alexa-auto-sdk-v2-0" target="_self"><img alt="Alexa auto sdk 2.0" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/auto/auto-sdk-2-0-blog._CB1565976571_.jpg" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></a></p> <p>Today, Amazon announced version 2.0 of the Alexa Auto SDK, which now includes a full-suite of offline, in addition to online, functionality&nbsp;for accessing Alexa in the car, including: music and radio, search and navigation, calling and messaging, and car control.</p> <p><img alt="Alexa auto sdk 2.0" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/auto/auto-sdk-2-0-blog._CB1565976571_.jpg" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>Today, we announced version 2.0 of the Alexa Auto SDK, which now offers a full-suite of offline functionality, in addition to online functionality, for accessing Alexa in the car, including: music and radio, search and navigation, calling and messaging, and car control. Automakers and their suppliers can use the Alexa Auto SDK to integrate Alexa into their vehicles, helping keep customers entertained and productive—even when connectivity is intermittent or not available.</p> <p><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-voice-service/alexa-auto-sdk" target="_blank">Start developing with the Alexa Auto SDK today &raquo;</a></p> <p>Although <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/12/report-voice-assistants-in-use-to-triple-to-8-billion-by-2023/" target="_blank">voice services are becoming a more important</a> part of our daily lives at home and on the go, <a href="https://www.jdpower.com/Cars/Ratings/Dependability/2018/2018-us-vehicle-dependability-study-results" target="_blank">it continues to be challenging to provide such services</a>&nbsp;in vehicles. We took a <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/4688f6ea-40ab-4cc0-a5e7-313f5735366a/j-d-power-voice-is-a-deciding-factor-in-the-vehicle-purchase-decision" target="_blank">closer look</a> with JD Power in 2018 and found that the in-vehicle voice service will impact the purchasing decision of 59% buyers, and most (76%) people want continuity from their voice service at home to their vehicle. This growing demand encouraged us to create the Alexa Auto SDK, which lets automakers improve the in-car voice experience by adding automotive-specific functionality to Alexa and contextualizing the experience for the vehicle. To help reduce development effort, the SDK includes ready-to-run sample applications and support for most automotive platforms and design guidelines to help automakers deliver the familiar Alexa customer experience while maintaining their own branding. Further, automakers can extend the functionality of Alexa in their vehicles by building custom skills with the Alexa Skills Kit.</p> <p>“Since its release last summer, we’ve seen an incredible response from automakers interested in using the Alexa Auto SDK to embed Alexa directly into their vehicles,” said Ned Curic, VP of Alexa Auto at Amazon. “At the same time, we know drivers often find themselves in places with poor or limited connectivity, and they still want to be able to access certain features and services through Alexa. This newest version of the Alexa Auto SDK delivers that capability for automakers, enabling their customers to take Alexa even more places on the go.”</p> <p>The Alexa Auto SDK enables core Alexa functionality, such as speech recognition and text-to-speech, and other capabilities such as streaming media, controlling smart home devices, notifications, weather reports, and tens of thousands of custom skills. It can be updated over-the-air and now includes the Local Voice Control extension, which ensures that customers get a reliable response from Alexa regardless of connectivity. On a normal commute, drivers lose connectivity or experience intermittent or transitional connectivity while driving in dense urban areas, through tunnels, in remote areas, or in parking garages. With the Local Voice Control extension to the Alexa Auto SDK, automakers embed a scaled-down version of Alexa’s cloud-based Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) into the vehicle’s infotainment system that increases resiliency of the cloud-based capabilities. This ensures that a customer can always ask, “Alexa, turn on the A/C,” “Alexa, tune to 90.5 FM,” or “Alexa, call Jackie,” and get the appropriate response and action from Alexa.</p> <p>“The vehicle environment is unique and requires online and offline voice capabilities to be truly successful,” says Matt Arcaro, Research Manager, Next-Generation Automotive Research at IDC. “This dual-mode support not only reduces the impact of variable network conditions, but will give vehicle users the confidence to increasingly think of voice as an effective and efficient means for vehicle interaction and customization.”</p> <p>The following features are now available through the Alexa Auto SDK:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Music and Radio</strong>: control media playback, stream music, audiobooks, and podcasts from leading providers, tune radio, change local media sources, turn up the volume, and adjust equalizer.</li> <li><strong>Calling and Messaging</strong>: dial by name and number, control call in progress, make Alexa announcements, use Alexa Drop In, join meetings, and send and receive Alexa messages.</li> <li><strong>Search and Navigation</strong>: navigate to favorite destinations, search for places by name, brand, category, address, or intersection, get details such as hours of operation, phone number, and ratings, determine route info like traffic and ETA, and cancel navigation in progress.</li> <li><strong>Car Control</strong>: turn on air conditioning, set desired cabin temperature, control temperature by zone, set fan mode and speed, defrost front and rear windshield, and control interior cabin lighting.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Automakers</strong>: Learn more about integrating Alexa into your vehicles with the <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-voice-service/alexa-auto-sdk" target="_blank">Alexa Auto SDK</a>.</p> <p><strong>Skill developers</strong>: Learn how you can <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/51d38081-bb6a-478c-87cd-e643e8c64021/alexa-skill-developers-can-now-optimize-their-experiences-for-alexa-auto-vehicles-and-devices" target="_blank">customize your Alexa skill for in-vehicle use cases</a>.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/01242d2b-5c5d-40a5-8fbd-3dad15e68929/create-a-consistent-customer-experience-with-mutual-account-linking-for-your-alexa-skill Create a Consistent Customer Experience with Mutual Account Linking for Your Alexa Skill Michelle Wallace 2019-09-10T20:37:41+00:00 2019-09-10T20:37:41+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/debugging.png._CB437613271_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>When a developer wants to link the Alexa back end to an external back end that requires authentication, account linking provides a secure way to do that. However, some skill types require the user to <strong>mutually</strong> link accounts so that skills can send proactive updates to the Alexa back end. Learn how.</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/debugging.png._CB437613271_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>With the Alexa Skill Kit (ASK), developers can leverage Amazon’s knowledge in voice design to build quickly and easily. When a developer wants to link the Alexa back end to an external back end that requires authentication, <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/account-linking/understand-account-linking.html">account linking</a> provides a secure way to do that. However, some skill types require the user to <strong>mutually</strong> link accounts so that skills can send proactive updates to the Alexa back end. This allows customer data to stay in sync across systems and ensures a consistent customer experience across both an Alexa skill and an external app.</p> <p>Say a customer just welcomed a new baby to their family. They want to start tracking diaper changes and feedings using their voice. You are a developer who has built a baby activity skill using the <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/5a29dc2c-3fee-452a-adaf-736973e850f0/baby-activity-skill-api">Baby Activity Skill API</a>. You also offer an app to your customers, and you would like to present them with a consistent experience across both your Alexa skill and your app. A customer can start by adding a new profile with the baby’s name in the app that corresponds to your skill. But Alexa needs to know about this update too! Mutual account linking allows the corresponding app to send a health profile update to Alexa.</p> <p>Most OAuth servers only provide the ability to authenticate and authorize users in the skill developers' system. However, some skills, like <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/health/overview.html">Baby Activity Skill</a><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/health/overview.html">s,</a> must proactively interact with the Alexa backend to make updates. In Alexa, this is achieved by a <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/account-linking/account-linking-for-health.html#get-your-tokens">reciprocal authorization endpoint</a>, which is hosted by the skill developer to obtain the auth_code from Alexa. This blog post will show you how to use the sample code to enable mutual account linking with your Alexa skill. We provide an example of account linking with <a href="https://oauth.net/2/" target="_blank">OAuth 2.0</a>, and an example that leverages a <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/account-linking/account-linking-for-health.html#get-your-tokens">reciprocal authorization endpoint</a> as an additional step for mutual account linking.</p> <h2>Prerequisites</h2> <p>In order to complete the steps in this blog post you will need the following:</p> <ul> <li>An AWS account. <em><a href="https://console.aws.amazon.com/console/home" target="_blank">Log in or Sign up</a>.</em></li> <li>An Amazon developer account. <em><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa">Log in or Sign up</a>.</em></li> <li>A basic understanding of Amazon Alexa <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/alexa/alexa-skills-kit">skill development</a>.</li> </ul> <h2>Step 1: Set up an OAuth Server</h2> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/OAuth_Server.jpg._CB436534863_.jpg" style="height:495px; width:704px" /></p> <p>To help skill developers implement their own OAuth server, we have provided a repository with OAuth sample code (based on&nbsp;<a href="https://spring.io/projects/spring-security" target="_blank">Spring Security</a>), necessary infrastructure based on&nbsp;<a href="https://aws.amazon.com/cloudformation/" target="_blank">AWS Cloud Formation</a>&nbsp;(to help set up a web service on&nbsp;<a href="https://aws.amazon.com/elasticbeanstalk/" target="_blank">AWS Elastic Beanstalk</a>), a set of&nbsp;<a href="https://aws.amazon.com/dynamodb/" target="_blank">AWS DynamoDB</a>&nbsp;tables to store tokens, and an&nbsp;<a href="https://aws.amazon.com/codepipeline/" target="_blank">AWS Code Pipeline</a>&nbsp;to help you build and deploy code from your Github repository. Follow these steps to set up your server:</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Set_up_Server.jpg._CB436534964_.jpg" style="height:56px; width:600px" /></p> <ol> <li>Clone from the <a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-oauth-sample" target="_blank">sample repository</a>.</li> <li>Create your <a href="https://us-west-2.console.aws.amazon.com/cloudformation/home?region=us-west-2#/stacks/create/template?stackName=OAuthStack" target="_blank">Cloud formation</a> stack with this <a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-oauth-sample/blob/master/template.json" target="_blank">template file</a>.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Template_file.jpg._CB436533707_.jpg" style="height:446px; width:900px" /><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Enter the following stack parameters: <ol> <li>GitHubOwner: The owner of the repository</li> <li>RepositoryName: The name of your git repository.</li> <li>BranchName: The branch name of your git repository.</li> <li>GitHubOAuthToken: Follow the steps in the <a href="https://help.github.com/en/articles/creating-a-personal-access-token-for-the-command-line" target="_blank">GitHub documentation</a> to create a new (OAuth 2) token.</li> <li>VpcId: You can pick the default VPC from drop down, or create your own VPC.</li> </ol> </li> </ol> <p>After following these steps, you will have generated the following endpoints:</p> <ul> <li><strong>/oauth/authorize</strong>: The authorization endpoint is the endpoint on the authorization server where the resource owner logs in and grants authorization to the client application.</li> <li><strong>/oauth/token</strong>: The token endpoint is the endpoint on the authorization server where the client application exchanges the authorization code, client ID, and client secret for an access token.</li> <li><strong>/api/reciprocal/authorize</strong>: The reciprocal authorization endpoint will be invoked by Alexa to send a LWA auth code <em>(only required for mutual account linking).</em></li> <li><strong>/api/partner/token</strong>: The endpoint to refresh/obtain a partner token (e.g. LWA token) saved in your system.</li> </ul> <h2>Step 2: Integrate with Your Identity Provider</h2> <ul> <li>Test your identity provider with a mock user. We have provided the following mock user for testing: <ul> <li>{username: admin, password: password}: a user with Administration Role.</li> <li>{username: user, password: password}: a user with Normal Role.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p>Once completed, you are ready to verify the user identity in your own system.</p> <ul> <li>Customize the <a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-oauth-sample/blob/master/src/main/java/com/oauth/server/authentication/AuthenticationServiceProvider.java" target="_blank">AuthenticationServiceProvider.java</a> class by overriding the following method.</li> </ul> <pre> <code>public UserDetails loadUserByUsername(final String username) throws UsernameNotFoundException { //TODO: Integrate with your authentication system in replace the mock users. }</code></pre> <h2>Step 3: Bind Your SSL Certificate to Your HTTPS Endpoint</h2> <ol> <li>Alexa requires https endpoints for secure data transactions. You will need to request a SSL certificate or upload your own through&nbsp;<a href="https://aws.amazon.com/certificate-manager/" target="_blank">AWS Certificate Manager</a>.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/AWS_Certificate_Manager.jpg._CB436533782_.jpg" style="height:329px; width:900px" /><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Once your domain certificate is requested/uploaded, you will need to add HTTPS(443) in load balancer. <ol> <li>Navigate to the Elastic Beanstalk application that you created earlier</li> <li>Click Configuration → Modify load balancer</li> <li>Add a new port as shown below:</li> </ol> </li> </ol> <p style="margin-left:40px"><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Add_port.jpg._CB436502914_.jpg" style="height:288px; width:900px" /></p> <h2>Step 4: Create an OAuth Client (and Partner) for Your Alexa Skill</h2> <ol> <li>Log in to the <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/console/ask">Alexa developer console</a> and select your skill.</li> <li>In the &quot;PERMISSIONS&quot; section, paste your Client Id and Client Secret.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Permissions.jpg._CB436503383_.jpg" style="height:79px; width:700px" /><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>In the &quot;ACCOUNT LINKING&quot; section, paste your redirect URLs.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Account_linking.jpg._CB436503491_.jpg" /><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Log in to https://YOUR_DOMAIN/ as an administrator. Create an OAuth client that you vend to Alexa (for example, test_alexa_client).<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Edit_client.jpg._CB436503104_.jpg" style="height:435px; width:900px" /><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>(Only for mutual account linking) Log in to&nbsp;https://YOUR_DOMAIN/ as an administrator and create an OAuth partner to call Alexa APIs. <ol> <li><strong>IMPORTANT</strong>: clientId and clientSecret are generated by your Alexa Skill (Under the PERMISSION tab). The partnerId should be the same as the &quot;clientId&quot; in the previous step.</li> </ol> </li> </ol> <p style="margin-left:40px"><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Partner.jpg._CB436505866_.jpg" /></p> <h2>Step 5: Update OAuth Endpoints in the Developer Console</h2> <ol> <li>Log in to <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/console/ask">Alexa developer console</a> and select your skill.</li> <li>Click &quot;ACCOUNT LINKING&quot; and fill the form with the following:<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Account_linking_-_form.jpg._CB436578455_.jpg" style="height:730px; width:900px" /><br /> &nbsp; <ul> <li>Authorization URI: https://YOUR_DOMAIN/oauth/authorize</li> <li>Access Token URI: https://YOUR_DOMAIN/oauth/token</li> <li>Reciprocal Access Token URI: https://YOUR_DOMAIN/api/reciprocal/authorize</li> <li>Client ID: The clientId of the client you have created in the previous section</li> <li>Client Secret: The clientSecret of the client you created in the previous section</li> <li>Client Authentication Scheme: Select “Credentials in request body” option in the drop down</li> <li>Scope: OAuth scopes to define the permissions (this is used for your resource server, so leave it empty if you do not have one)</li> <li>Domain List: YOUR DOMAIN (for example, for domain.com, this would be www.domain.com)</li> </ul> </li> </ol> <h2>Step 6:Test Your Alexa Skill</h2> <p>After you have linked Alexa with your OAuth server in developer console, test your skill by following these steps:</p> <ol> <li>Download and log in to your Alexa app or visit <a href="https://alexa.amazon.com" target="_blank">Alexa Web</a> with the same account you used for the developer console.</li> <li>Find your own skill in DEV SKILLS section.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Dev_skills.jpg._CB436579018_.jpg" /><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Click Enable and you will be redirected to the OAuth server you just set up, where you will need to log in and grant the permission to your Alexa skill.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Enable.jpg._CB436578966_.jpg" /><br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Login_page.jpg._CB436884746_.jpg" style="height:259px; width:600px" /><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Once logged in, select Approve to grant the access to your test Alexa skill.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Approve.jpg._CB436884864_.jpg" style="height:204px; width:600px" /><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Once account linking is completed, you will see a successful linked page.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Successfully_linked.jpg._CB436884497_.jpg" /><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>As part of the mutual account linking, Alexa also sends its own OAuth token(LWA) to your OAuth&nbsp;reciprocal endpoint, and can be retrieved from /api/partner/token endpoint. <ol> <li>Get an access token with admin client credential:<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Get_access_token.jpg._CB436885307_.jpg" style="height:138px; width:700px" /><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use the access_token you got from previous step to retrieve the LWA token for your Alexa skill.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Retrieve_token.jpg._CB436885092_.jpg" style="height:404px; width:700px" /><br /> &nbsp;</li> </ol> </li> <li>Add Authorization (“Bearer + LWA token”) in request header when you need to interact with Alexa APIs&nbsp;to create/upload your&nbsp;baby health profile(s) for the baby activity skills. Here is a <a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-baby-activity/blob/master/sample_messages/UserProfileReport/singleProfile.json" target="_blank">profile example</a>.</li> </ol> <pre> <code>{ &quot;report&quot;: { &quot;messageId&quot;: &quot;&lt;message id&gt;&quot;, &quot;profiles&quot;: [ { &quot;profileId&quot;: &quot;&lt;profile id&gt;&quot;, &quot;name&quot;: { &quot;firstName&quot;: &quot;John&quot;, &quot;lastName&quot;: &quot;Doe&quot; }, &quot;capabilities&quot;: [ { &quot;name&quot;: &quot;Alexa.Health.Weight&quot;, &quot;type&quot;: &quot;AlexaInterface&quot;, &quot;version&quot;: &quot;1&quot;, &quot;supportedOperations&quot;: [&quot;Add&quot;, &quot;Delete&quot;, &quot;Get&quot;] }, { &quot;name&quot;: &quot;Alexa.Health.Sleep&quot;, &quot;type&quot;: &quot;AlexaInterface&quot;, &quot;version&quot;: &quot;1&quot;, &quot;supportedOperations&quot;: [&quot;Add&quot;, &quot;Delete&quot;, &quot;Get&quot;] } ] } ] } } </code></pre> <p style="margin-left:40px"><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/Profile_example.jpg._CB436885208_.jpg" style="height:333px; width:900px" /></p> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>Congratulations! Your customers will now have a consistent experience across your Alexa skill and your app. You have created your own OAuth server to securely communicate with the Alexa backend system when your customers link accounts with Alexa. In addition, you have hosted a reciprocal authorization endpoint to proactively interact with the Alexa backend.</p> <h2>Try the Baby Activity Skill API Today</h2> <p>Now, when customers welcome a new member to their family, the change they make to their profile in the app will automatically be reflected in their corresponding Alexa skill. Review <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/health/overview.html">our documentation</a> to get started. We are excited for you to leverage the power of voice to further increase the value of your services for your customers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> /blogs/alexa/post/e38efffc-0696-4dfe-ae31-87d8678255b8/enter-the-alexa-skills-challenge-in-skill-purchasing-to-compete-for-over-120-000-in-prizes Enter the Alexa Skills Challenge: In-Skill Purchasing to Compete for Over $120,000 in Prizes Ben Grossman 2019-09-10T16:00:28+00:00 2019-09-13T20:05:12+00:00 <p><a href="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/blog_ISP-Skill-Challenge_954x240.png._CB436517371_.png"><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/blog_ISP-Skill-Challenge_954x240.png._CB436517371_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></a></p> <p>We’re thrilled to announce the Alexa Skills Challenge: In-Skill Purchasing with Devpost, an opportunity to invent the future of premium voice content and compete for cash prizes.</p> <p><a href="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/blog_ISP-Skill-Challenge_954x240.png._CB436517371_.png"><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/blog_ISP-Skill-Challenge_954x240.png._CB436517371_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></a></p> <p>We’re thrilled to announce the <u><a href="https://alexaisp.devpost.com/" target="_blank">Alexa Skills Challenge: In-Skill<strong> </strong>Purchasing</a><strong> </strong></u>with Devpost, an opportunity to invent the future of premium voice content with over $120k in prizes. Plus, challenge finalists will be invited to Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle for an exclusive one-day summit on monetization opportunities. Start building skills with in-skill purchasing and enter the challenge by November 12th.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Invent the Future of Premium Voice Content</h2> <p>Customers have purchased over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices and there are hundreds of thousands of developers building voice experiences on Alexa. In-skill purchasing (ISP) lets you make money from your Alexa skills by selling premium digital content to enrich your customer’s experience, including anything from hints in a trivia skill to enhanced features in a weather reporting skill. In-skill purchasing is currently available in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan. Developers who monetize their skills across these skill stores will be able to tap into a larger customer base, generating revenue to grow their global voice business.&nbsp;Entrepreneur Mark Cuban has <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/0902e3c5-9649-47e5-b705-984666b85125/mark-cuban-voice-ambient-computing-are-the-future-and-why-developers-should-get-in-now" target="_blank">said</a> that if he were to start a business today, he’d build it around Alexa. It is still the early days of voice technology and voice entrepreneurs are getting in now to capitalize on Alexa’s reach.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>What You're Competitng for</h2> <p>All eligible participants will receive a $50 Amazon gift card for submitting a brand new skill or updated skill with In-Skill Purchasing (Participants from outside of the US will receive cash equivalent value. See <a href="https://alexaisp.devpost.com/rules" target="_blank">rules </a>for details).</p> <p><strong>Finalist Prizes</strong> <strong>– </strong>We will select 10 finalists who will each take home $5,000 and more. Four finalists will be selected for the best premium skills in each country that supports in-skill purchasing and receive $10,000, and six wildcard finalists will receive $5,000. Plus, all 10 finalists will be invited to Amazon’s headquarters for an exclusive finalist summit.</p> <ul> <li><strong>US Skill Store Finalist</strong><strong> </strong>&nbsp;- The best premium skill published in the US skill store will receive $10,000, plus invitation &amp; travel to the ISP Finalist Summit in Seattle</li> <li><strong>Germany Skill Store Finalist</strong><strong> </strong>&nbsp;- The best premium skill published in the German skill store will receive $10,000, plus invitation &amp; travel to the ISP Finalist Summit in Seattle</li> <li><strong>Japan Skill Store Finalist</strong><strong> </strong>&nbsp;- The best premium skill published in the Japanese skill store will receive $10,000, plus invitation &amp; travel to the ISP Finalist Summit in Seattle</li> <li><strong>UK Skill Store Finalist</strong><strong> </strong>&nbsp;- The best premium skill published in the UK skill store will receive $10,000, plus invitation &amp; travel to the ISP Finalist Summit in Seattle</li> <li><strong>Wildcard Finalists</strong><strong> </strong>&nbsp;- The 6 remaining finalists will receive $5,000 each, plus invitation &amp; travel to the ISP Finalist Summit in Seattle</li> <li><strong>Grand Prize</strong><strong> </strong>&nbsp;- The winner for the overall best skill with In-Skill Purchasing will be chosen from the finalists and will receive $15,000 in addition to their finalist prize</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>What is the Alexa ISP Finalist Summit?</h2> <p>The Alexa ISP Finalist Summit is an invite-only workshop for challenge finalists where they will have the opportunity to learn in-depth how to build premium experiences on voice. The event will be held at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, with air travel and hotel covered for up to 2 team members in each finalist team. Participants will have the opportunity to meet the Alexa team, share their feedback, and spend time with experts learning how to take their skills and premium ideas forward. And of course, a tour of the Amazon headquarters campus. The summit will take place in January 2020 with further details announced during the challenge.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>More Ways to Win: Bonus Prizes</h2> <p>In addition to the grand prize winner and 10 finalists, we will select 6 additional bonus prize winners. You could be eligible to win up to one bonus prize in each category.</p> <p><strong>Contest Bonus Prizes – </strong>Winners of these bonus prizes will receive $3,000 and need not be a finalist:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Bonus Prize - Best Premium Game Category experience</strong> (Premium game and/or entertainment skills certified in the Games category of the Skills Store)</li> <li><strong>Bonus Prize - Best Agency-Developed Premium Experience</strong> (Organizations such as traditional and digital advertising agencies, consultants, innovators, tool creators, global holding companies, and developer partners will be eligible for the Agency prize, but may also win other prizes.)</li> <li><strong>Bonus Prize - Best One-Time Purchase Product Experience</strong> (Provides access to premium content that never expires.)</li> <li><strong>Bonus Prize - Best Subscription Product experience</strong> (Allows customer to pay a flat monthly fee for access to all content, or for tiered access to content etc.)</li> <li><strong>Bonus Prize - Best Consumables Product experience</strong> (Provides access to premium content that can be purchased, depleted when used, and purchased again)</li> <li><strong>Bonus Prize - Best Multimodal experience with ISP</strong> (Provides an in-skill purchasing option for skills optimized for multiple devices like the Fire TV.)</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>How to Enter</h2> <p>Build a new Alexa Skill with in-skill purchasing or add in-skill purchasing to an existing skill. If an existing skill, submitters will be required to have integrated ISP during the submission period. Existing skills that already integrated ISP will NOT be eligible. Skills must be published in at least one of the <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/in-skill-purchase/isp-language-distribution-pricing.html#countries-regions" target="_blank">Skill Stores that currently support ISP</a>: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and/or Japan.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>What are the Types of In-Skill Purchases?</h2> <ol> <li><strong>Consumable</strong>: Provides access to premium content that can be purchased, depleted when used, and purchased again. For example: A trivia skill offers a hint to a difficult question for a one-time fee.</li> <li><strong>Subscription</strong>: Allows customers to pay a flat monthly fee for access to all content, or for tiered access to content. For example, a radio broadcaster allows access to all channels and content on Alexa for a flat monthly rate.</li> <li><strong>One-time purchase</strong>: Provides access to premium content that never expires. For example, a trivia game offers additional themed packs of quizzes customers can re-play for a one-time fee.</li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>What Makes a Great Premium Skill?</h2> <p>Quality premium skills add additional content to an already engaging experience:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Help customers get their money's worth</strong>. Encourage repeat usage of your skill. Give customers a reason to come back daily or weekly with fresh content or to unlock new content or rewards for continued use.</li> <li><strong>Offer a seamless customer experience. </strong>Customers can clearly distinguish between premium and free content, can easily discover and access the skill’s premium offerings, and the skill handles all possible outcomes of the purchase user flow</li> <li><strong>Provide a compelling free experience.</strong> The premium experience is meant to enhance the skill with more useful features or tools and to provide additional content. Before you add a premium experience to your skill, you first need to build an engaging skill that resonates with customers and keeps them coming back.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Resources to Help You Get started</h2> <p>Check out the following resources to learn about In-Skill Purchasing and prepare for the challenge.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Live Announcement Event</strong>: Join our upcoming live <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/events/1PPcaQ32S-2l9vZGyEaJLA">Twitch event</a> on Thursday, September 12<sup>th</sup> at 11am PDT. We’ll share tips and best practices to help you kick-start your challenge submission.</li> <li><strong>Introductory Guide</strong>: You can also check out the following resources to learn more about in-skill purchasing and prepare for the challenge. For more help, check out the page <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/make-money/in-skill-purchasing" target="_blank">Make Money through In-Skill Purchasing</a> for more details.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Sample Skill Repository:</strong> <ul> <li><a href="https://github.com/alexa/skill-sample-nodejs-premium-hello-world" target="_blank">Premium Hello World Skill</a> – A great beginner sample with a tutorial on building for with In-Skill Purchasing</li> <li><a href="https://github.com/alexa/skill-sample-nodejs-fact-in-skill-purchases" target="_blank">Premium Fact Skill</a> – A more robust, intermediate code sample that shows One Time Purchases, Subscriptions, and Consumables being used together in a fact skill</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Read </strong><u><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/in-skill-purchase/isp-overview.html" target="_blank">technical documentation</a></u><strong> </strong></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Join the Challenge Today</h2> <p>Round 1 begins now! Publish your ISP skill and submit your challenge entry to Devpost by November 12th. Submit sooner and take advantage of more time to get customer ratings and feedback from friends and family to improve your skill as needed. We’ll announce the finalist winners in December 2019.</p> <p>We can’t wait to see what incredible premium experiences you build for Alexa customers around the world!</p> /blogs/alexa/post/45381fa8-6869-453c-982e-4f60c21f80bd/enter-the-alexa-skills-challenge-in-skill-purchasing-to-compete-for-over-120-000-in-prizes-jp Alexa スキルチャレンジに参加しよう:賞金総額120,000ドル(約1300万円)超のスキル内課金コンテスト Motoko Onitsuka 2019-09-10T15:00:00+00:00 2019-09-20T04:22:31+00:00 <p><a href="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/blog_ISP-Skill-Challenge_954x240.png._CB436517371_.png"><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/blog_ISP-Skill-Challenge_954x240.png._CB436517371_.png" /></a></p> <p>私たちは<a href="https://alexaisp.devpost.com/">Alexaスキルチャレンジ:スキル内課金(ISP)</a>wtih Devpost の開催を発表することをうれしく思います。プレミアム音声コンテンツの未来へのイノベーションを行う機会です。</p> <p><a href="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/blog_ISP-Skill-Challenge_954x240.png._CB436517371_.png"><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/blog_ISP-Skill-Challenge_954x240.png._CB436517371_.png" /></a></p> <p>[編集注]このブログの原文は<a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/e38efffc-0696-4dfe-ae31-87d8678255b8/enter-the-alexa-skills-challenge-in-skill-purchasing-to-compete-for-over-120-000-in-prizes">Enter the Alexa Skills Challenge: In-Skill Purchasing to Compete for Over $120,000 in Prizes</a>です。<u>コンテストの正式な規約は<a href="https://alexaisp.devpost.com/">コンテスト公式ページ</a>に英語で掲載されているものとなりますので、必ずご確認ください。</u><br /> <br /> 私たちは<a href="https://alexaisp.devpost.com/">Alexaスキルチャレンジ:スキル内課金(ISP)</a>wtih Devpost の開催を発表することをうれしく思います。総額120,000ドル(約1300万円)超の賞金をめぐり、プレミアム音声コンテンツの未来へのイノベーションを行う機会です。さらに、このチャレンジのファイナリストは、シアトルにあるAmazonの本社で、収益化をテーマとした1日の招待者限定サミットにご招待いたします。スキル内課金を実装したスキルを開発して、11月12日(米国東部標準時)までにチャレンジに申し込みましょう。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>プレミアム音声コンテンツの未来を発明しよう</h2> <p>世界では1億台を超えるAlexaを使えるデバイスが購入されており、Alexaの音声エクスペリエンスの開発者は数十万人にも上ります。スキル内課金は、ユーザー体験を豊かにするプレミアムなデジタルコンテンツを販売することで、Alexaスキルにより収益化が可能になる仕組みです。プレミアムコンテンツには、例えば、トリビアスキルのヒントや、天気予報スキルの追加機能などが含まれます。スキル内課金は、米国、英国、ドイツ、日本で利用できます。これらの国々のスキルストアでスキルを収益化すると、さらに多くのユーザーにリーチし、グローバルな音声ビジネスを伸ばす収益を得るチャンスにつながります。音声テクノロジーはまだ始まったばかりです。音声起業家たちが、Alexaに投資し始めています。Mark Cubanは、「今日ビジネスを始めるなら、Alexaに関するものにする」と言っています。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>チャレンジで獲得できるのは・・・</h2> <p>参加条件を満たした参加者には、新しいスキルを公開するか、既存スキルにスキル内課金を実装すれば、50ドル(約5000円)のAmazonギフトカードが贈られます。米国外からの参加者には、同等額の現金となります。参加賞の数には限りがありますので、<u>条件の詳細は必ず<a href="https://alexaisp.devpost.com/rules">ルール</a>をご確認ください</u>。<br /> <br /> ファイナリスト賞:私たちは5,000ドル(約50万円)かそれ以上を獲得できる10人のファイナリストを選びます。4人のファイナリストは、スキル内課金が使える各国でのベストプレミアムスキルとしてそれぞれ選ばれ、各10,000ドル(約100万円)が贈られます。6人のワイルドカードファイナリストには、5,000ドル(約50万円)が贈られます。また、この10人のファイナリスト全員が、Amazonの本社で行われる招待者限定のサミットに招待されます。</p> <ul> <li><strong>USスキルストアファイナリスト</strong>:USスキルストアに公開された中でベストプレミアムスキルには、10,000ドル(約100万円)と、シアトルでのISPファイナリストサミット旅行へのご招待をお贈りします。</li> <li><strong>ドイツスキルストアファイナリスト</strong>:ドイツのスキルストアに公開された中でベストプレミアムスキルには、10,000ドル(約100万円)と、シアトルでのISPファイナリストサミット旅行へのご招待をお贈りします。</li> <li><strong>日本スキルストアファイナリスト</strong>:日本のスキルストアに公開された中でベストプレミアムスキルには、10,000ドル(約100万円)と、シアトルでのISPファイナリストサミット旅行へのご招待をお贈りします。</li> <li><strong>英国スキルストアファイナリスト</strong>:英国のスキルストアに公開された中でベストプレミアムスキルには、10,000ドル(約100万円)と、シアトルでのISPファイナリストサミット旅行へのご招待をお贈りします。</li> <li><strong>ワイルドカードファイナリスト</strong>:残り6人のファイナリストには各5,000ドル(約50万円)と、シアトルでのISPファイナリストサミット旅行へのご招待をお贈りします。</li> <li><strong>グランプリ</strong>:ファイナリストの中から、最優秀スキルが選ばれます。ファイナリスト賞に加えて、15,000ドル(約160万円)が贈られます。</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Alexa ISPファイナリストサミットとは?</h2> <p>Alexa ISPファイナリストサミットは、チャレンジのファイナリストのための、招待者限定ワークショップです。音声でプレミアムエクスペリエンスを開発する方法を掘り下げて学ぶことのできる機会です。このイベントはシアトルにあるAmazonの本社で行われ、飛行機代と宿泊費が1ファイナリストチームにつき、2人まで提供されます。参加者は、Alexaチームに会い、フィードバックを共有し、エキスパートからスキルやプレミアムなアイデアをさらに次の段階にもっていく方法を学ぶことができます。そしてもちろん、Amazonの本社ツアーもあります。サミットは2020年の1月に行われる予定で、詳細は本チャレンジ開催中に追加でアナウンスされます。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>そのほかの賞を獲得する方法:ボーナス賞</h2> <p>グランプリと10人のファイナリストに加え、私たちは6人のボーナス賞受賞者を選びます。カテゴリーごとに、最大1つのボーナス賞を獲得することができます。<br /> <br /> コンテンツボーナス賞:以下のボーナス賞の受賞者には3,000ドル(約30万円)が贈られます。ファイナリストである必要はありません。</p> <ul> <li><strong>ボーナスプライズ:プレミアムゲームカテゴリエクスペリエンス</strong>(Alexaスキルストアのゲームカテゴリで認定された、プレミアムゲーム/またはエンターテインメントスキル)</li> <li><strong>ボーナスプライズ:エージェンシー開発プレミアムエクスペリエンス</strong>(伝統的なデジタル広告エージェンシー、コンサルタント、イノベーター、ツール開発者、グローバルカンパニー、デベロッパーパートナーなどの組織はエージェンシー賞の対象です。ほかの賞を受賞する可能性もあります)</li> <li><strong>ボーナスプライズ:買い切り型商品エクスペリエンス</strong>(期限切れにならないプレミアムコンテンツへのアクセスを付与)</li> <li><strong>ボーナスプライズ:サブスクリプション商品エクスペリエンス</strong>(ユーザーが毎月定額を払うことで、すべてのコンテンツを使えるようにする、または段階的にコンテンツにアクセスできるようにする、など)</li> <li><strong>ボーナスプライズ:消費型商品エクスペリエンス</strong>(購入可能で、使うと消費され、再度購入できるプレミアムコンテンツへのアクセスを付与)</li> <li><strong>ボーナスプライズ:ISPでマルチモーダルエクスペリエンス</strong>(Fire TVのような違った種類のデバイスに適応したスキルで、スキル内課金オプションを提供)</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>チャレンジに参加するには</h2> <p>参加するには、スキル内課金を使った新しいAlexaスキルを開発するか、既存のスキルに新しくスキル内課金を追加してください。既存スキルの場合は、スキル内課金を本チャレンジで定めるサブミッション期間中に実装する必要があります。すでにスキル内課金を実装している既存スキルは<u><strong>対象外となります</strong></u><strong>。</strong>スキルは現在<a href="https://developer.amazon.com/ja/docs/in-skill-purchase/isp-language-distribution-pricing.html#countries-regions">スキル内課金がサポートされているスキルストア</a>(米国、英国、ドイツ、日本)のうち少なくとも一つに公開されている必要があります。参加方法の詳細はチャレンジの<a href="https://alexaisp.devpost.com/">公式ページ</a>をご確認ください。</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>日本の開発者向け追加情報(本コンテスト公式ページからの一部抜粋、翻訳となります。正式な情報は公式ページの<a href="https://alexaisp.devpost.com/rules">ルール</a>、<a href="https://alexaisp.devpost.com/details/prizes">賞の内容</a>をご確認ください)</h2> <ul> <li>サブミッションパッケージ:スキル説明、デモビデオ、その他の情報はDevpostの公式サイトから11月12日午後5時(米国東部標準時)までにサブミットされる必要があります。必要な条件については、<a href="https://alexaisp.devpost.com/rules">ルール</a>をご覧下さい。</li> </ul> <ul> <li>審査:すべてのスキルはAlexaスキルストアに11月12日午後5時(米国東部標準時)までに審査提出され、12月6日午後5時(米国東部標準時)までに審査通過する必要があります。</li> </ul> <ul> <li><u>スキル以外のDevpostへのサブミッションの内容は英語である必要があります。英語でない場合は、デモビデオ、テキストでの説明、テスト手順の説明を含むすべての内容において、英語の翻訳を提供してください。</u></li> <li>スキルは、サブミットする国のスキルストアの主要言語をサポートしている必要があります(日本のスキルストアの場合は日本語です)。</li> <li>応募スキルはユーザーが何を買えるかを直接判断できるよう、「何が買えるの?」という発話をサポートできるようにしてください。</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>開発リソース</h2> <ul> <li>ライブアナウンスメントイベント:ライブの <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/events/1PPcaQ32S-2l9vZGyEaJLA">Twitch event</a>(英語)が9月12日(木)午前11時( 米国太平洋夏時間)に行われます。チャレンジのための、アドバイスやベストプラクティスをお伝えします。</li> <li>Alexa道場:<a href="https://youtu.be/wBJcZc33prs">スキル内課金を動かしてみよう</a>(日本語)</li> <li>サンプルスキルレポジトリ <ul> <li>シンプルハローワールド(日本語、近日公開予定):初心者向けの、買い切り型、サブスクリプションについてのスキル内課金サンプルコードです。課題形式で出題・答え合わせの形で進めていただけます。</li> <li><a href="https://github.com/alexa/skill-sample-nodejs-fact-in-skill-purchases/tree/ja-JP">プレミアムトリビア</a>(日本語):スキル内商品の作成から、サンプルスキルを動かす手順までをステップバイステップで説明します。中級者用です。</li> <li><a href="https://github.com/alexa/skill-sample-nodejs-premium-hello-world">Premium Hello World Skill</a>(英語):ISPの作り方のチュートリアル付き、初心者のためのサンプル</li> <li><a href="https://github.com/alexa/skill-sample-nodejs-fact-in-skill-purchases">Premium Fact Skill</a>(英語):買い切り型、サブスクリプション、消費型のISPをファクトスキルの中で一緒に使っている中級者用コードサンプル</li> </ul> </li> <li>日本語ブログ  <ul> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/096dc4fa-6bc0-4896-b7c9-ff8ae72070bc/how-to-make-isp-skill-in-jp">Alexaスキル開発トレーニングシリーズ: スキル内課金の開発手順</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/c43838d3-a9a8-4024-b28d-131743714bbf/how-to-make-isp-skill-faq-jp">Alexaスキル開発トレーニングシリーズ: スキル内課金に関するFAQ</a></li> </ul> </li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/ja/docs/in-skill-purchase/isp-overview.html">技術文書</a>(日本語)</li> <li><a href="https://forums.developer.amazon.com/topics/isp-jp.html">スキル内課金フォーラム</a>(日本語)</li> <li>イントロダクションガイド:<a href="https://build.amazonalexadev.com/alexa-skill-monetization-guide-jp.html">Alexaスキルで収益につなげよう</a>(日本語、PDFダウンロード)</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>今すぐ参加しよう</h2> <p>第1ラウンドが始まりました!ISPスキルを公開して、11月12日(米国東部標準時)までにDevpostにエントリーしましょう。早く公開すると、ユーザーの評価や友達、家族からのフィードバックにより、スキルをさらに改善する時間が生まれます。ファイナリストは、2019年12月にアナウンス予定です。<br /> 世界中で、Alexaユーザーのための素晴らしいプレミアムエクスペリエンスが開発されるのを、心からお待ちしています。</p>