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November 26, 2018June Lee
Editor's Note: APL video feature support is now available in beta. Read our technical documentation to learn more.
We’re thrilled to announce the Alexa Skills Challenge: Multimodal with Devpost, an opportunity for you to build an Alexa multimodal skill using the Alexa Presentation Language (APL) and compete for cash prizes and Amazon devices. We invite you to build a voice-first multimodal experience that customers can enjoy across tens of millions of Alexa-enabled devices with screens. In addition to helping push the boundaries of what's possible with voice-first visual experiences, you can compete for cash prizes. You can also earn a new Amazon device by just publishing an eligible APL skill. Start building APL skills and enter the challenge by January 22.
People embrace voice because it’s simple, natural, and conversational. Multimodal skills add additional input and output options when a screen is present in order to:
APL is a new design language built from the ground up for creating voice-first, multimodal Alexa skills. Optimized for Alexa-enabled devices, APL also ensures that your skills can reach customers on Echo Spot, Echo Show, and Fire TV. With APL, you have the flexibility to enhance your skill experience for different device types, control your user experience by defining where visual elements are placed on screens, and choose a variety of components available with APL that are best suited for your content. You can build reusable layouts, apply reusable styles, and use multimodal features such as speech synchronization, slideshows, and more. Starting in December, you’ll be able to use the Video components in your APL documents. If you’d like to include videos in your APL skill, start building now and plan to add videos later in December. We’ll let you know on the blog when the Video component is available.
Please note that your skill must use APL and include at least one APL document. Skills that use the display interface or include any display templates will disqualify. To disable the display interface, go to the skill developer portal, select your skill, select the Interfaces section in the Build tab and turn off the Display interface. Additionally, the challenge judges will evaluate each submission on the following criteria:
Read the rules section on Devpost for more details.
All eligible participants will take home an Amazon Echo Dot and a Fire TV Stick 4K bundle for a brand new skill and an Amazon Echo Dot for updated skill (participants from outside of the US will receive an Amazon gift card of equivalent value).
After the submission period ends, we will select 10 finalists who will each take home $5,000. During the final round, Amazon will promote the finalist skills to Alexa customers across multiple channels to get customer feedback and drive engagement for your skills. The best skill from the finalist pool will take home the grand prize of $20,000, in addition to their finalist prize.
In addition to the grand prize winner, we will select 14 additional bonus prizes winners across two categories—Content and International. You could be eligible to win up to one bonus prize in each category.
Content Bonus Prizes – Winners of these bonus prizes will receive $3,000 and need not be a finalist:
International Bonus Prizes – Winners of these bonus prizes will receive $3,000 and need not be a finalist. Skills competing for International Bonus Prizes must be entered on the competition website, submitted for certification in that country’s skills store before the end of the submission period, and support the primary language for that country or region.
All prizes are split between team members, or hoarded if the winning skill was built by just one person. To be eligible, skills must be built using APL, submitted in English for the US Alexa Skills Store (excluding International Bonus Prizes), and accompanied by a complete submission package.
Check out the following resources to learn APL and prepare for the challenge.
Round 1 begins now! Publish your APL skill and submit your challenge entry to Devpost by January 22. Submit sooner and take advantage of more time to get customer ratings and feedback from friends and family to improve your skill as needed. In round 2, we will promote the 10 finalists’ skills and customer engagement will become part of the judging criteria. We’ll announce the winners in March 2019.
We can’t wait to see what you build with APL!