March 15, 2018Brian Crum
We’re thrilled to announce the Alexa Skills Challenge: Life Hacks with Devpost, an opportunity for you to publish a stellar Alexa skill that customers will love for a chance to win your share of cash and prizes up to $250,000. The Life Hacks Challenge invites you to build Alexa skills that make everyday tasks faster, easier, and more delightful. We are looking for skills that can reduce workload, streamline tasks, support self-improvement, or improve lifestyle and health. Life hack skills can be in any category, as long as they improve an element of a customer's life. And submissions to the Life Hacks Challenge can be an update to an existing skill, or an entirely new skill.
In one sense, Alexa skills are life hacks already. By enabling hands-free, voice-enabled access to information, products, services, and so much more, customers can simplify daily tasks and improve their overall productivity. Alexa defines a life hack as any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life. This can range from skills that help customers get a better night’s sleep, save money, drink more water, or cultivate a healthier mindset, to MacGyver-style expedient solutions to everyday problems, and more. And while many skills available today already meet this definition, the Life Hacks Challenge is about raising the bar. It's about making existing skills even better, and building new skills that customers simply can’t live without.
Everyone who completes an eligible content submission package and publishes a life hack skill will receive a limited-edition Echo Dot. In addition:
Grand Prize: The winner for the overall best Alexa life hack skill will be chosen from the finalists and will receive $20,000 in addition to their $5,000 finalist prize, for a total of $25,000 in cash. The grand prize winner will also get a cool trophy to show off to their family, friends, and fellow students/co-workers.
Bonus Prize – Best New Life Hack Skill Designed for Echo Show & Echo Spot (chosen from new skills submitted during the contest period): The winner of this bonus prize will receive $5,000 and need not be a finalist.
Bonus Prize – Best Updated Life Hack Skill Designed for Echo Show & Echo Spot (chosen from existing skills updated during the contest period): The winner of this bonus prize will receive $5,000 and need not be a finalist.
Bonus Prize – Best Life Hack Skill by High School Students: The winning individual or team members must be age 13-18, and currently enrolled in a high school in the US or Canada. The winner of this bonus prize will receive $5,000 and need not be a finalist.
Bonus Prize – Best Life Hack Skill by University Students: The winning individual or team members must be currently enrolled in an accredited university. The winner of this bonus prize will receive $5,000 and need not be a finalist.
Bonus Prize – Best Work-from-Home Hack: This prize is intended for the best Alexa skill that seeks to boost productivity, focus, or overall effectiveness in a work-from-home scenario. The winner of this prize will receive $5,000 and need not be a finalist.
Bonus Prize – Best Health & Wellness-Hack Skill: This prize is intended for the best Alexa skill that seeks to improve physical health, strength or flexibility, nutrition, or emotional well-being. The winner of this bonus prize will receive $5,000 and need not be a finalist.
These prizes are split between team members, or hoarded if the winning skill was built by just one person. To be eligible, skills must be submitted in English for the US Alexa Skills Store, and accompanied by a complete submission package to the Alexa Skills Challenge: Life Hacks with Devpost.
Your skill will be judged on:
Novelty and quality of the idea,including creativity and originality, and the extent to which the skill provides a convenience, saves time, or improves an everyday task.
Implementation of the idea, including the user experience such as its ease-of-use, whether it performs as expected, includes fresh content, and more.
Potential impact of the idea, including the extent to which the skill is widely useful, might be customizable, might be extended to other scenarios, and more.
Quality of the submission package, including the description, video demo, and any other materials submitted to Devpost.
Customer engagement (to evaluate finalists only), including a variety of factors such as type and duration of usage, the number of new and recurring customers, customer ratings, and more.
If you’re interested in participating—and we hope that you are—we recommend that you register for our upcoming webinar: Tips for Building Voice-First Life Hacks with Alexa. We'll share tips and best practices for building skills that help improve customer's productivity.
Round 1 of the Life Hacks Challenge begins now. You have 7 weeks to build and submit your skill for certification and provide your submission package to Devpost by April 30. Submit sooner and take advantage of more time to get customer ratings and feedback to improve your skill as needed. On May 31, we’ll announce the 12 finalists. In round 2, we will promote the 12 finalists’ skills and customer engagement will become part of the judging criteria. On July 3, we’ll announce the winners.
Enter the Alexa Skills Challenge: Life Hacks now.
We look forward to seeing the engaging and productive skills you build!