With a grand prize of $20,000, six bonus prizes of $5,000 each, a $5,000 prize for each of the 10 finalists, and an Echo Dot for each of the hundreds of eligible participants – thousands of developers registered for the Alexa Skills Challenge: Life Hacks with their eyes on the prize. Developers representing 30 countries around the globe gave their blood, sweat, and tears to battle their way to the winner’s circle. Today, our adventure concludes. The time has come to announce the winners.
From sleep aids to sustainability tips, budget helpers to chore trackers, chop choppers to calming companions – we’ve been saving time, money, and having a ton of fun evaluating our 10 finalist skills. We tracked new habits. We kept to a budget (finally!). We enjoyed moments of mindfulness. And after much deliberation, we’ve chosen the winners. It wasn’t easy. We’ve been amazed by the tremendous creativity, novelty, and usefulness of the finalist skills. Some of the skills were so engaging we couldn’t stop asking for more! Ultimately, our panel of expert judges chose the winners based on their creativity and originality, a great voice-first user experience, and the skill’s potential impact and ability to drive habitual use.
Judges included Gary Vaynerchuk, a best-selling author and internationally recognized personality best known as a digital marketing and social-media pioneer, and Emily Price, writer for Lifehacker.com and reporter on everything from hacks to keep you organized to how to get the most from your tech.
An Accomplishment to Be Proud Of
To be eligible, participants had to submit a stellar life hack skill, a demo video, and the story of how they built it. For some of you, this was your very first Alexa skill. Congratulations! (And we can’t wait to see what you build next!) For others, you explored more advanced features like creating screen displays and interactions for Echo Show & Echo Spot, use of custom voices and sound effects, leaderboards, and more. Some of you submitted Hollywood-quality demo videos. We applaud each and every one of you for investing your time, brainpower, and creativity in building voice experiences that help customers make everyday tasks faster, easier, and more delightful.
And the Winners Are…
Bonus Prize: Best Health & Wellness Hack ($5,000) – Calm Now
Calm Now walks through proven calming techniques such as taking deep breaths, counting to 10, and shaking out your legs like you have a whole bunch of fire ants in your pants. Though originally targeted to kids, this skill is helpful for some adults we know (not naming names). Try out Calm Now.
Bonus Prize: Best New Skill Designed for Echo Show & Echo Spot ($5,000) – Chop Chop
Chop Chop is a hands-free kitchen companion serving up fun, easy-to-follow tutorials on chopping fresh produce. From the basics to the exotics, Chop Chop’s step-by-step instructions will have you slicing and dicing in no time. Try out Chop Chop.
Bonus Prize: Best Updated Skill Designed for Echo Show & Echo Spot ($5,000) – British Poetry
British Poetry recruits “Lady Alexa” to recite poems from a vast collection of British bards throughout history. She can serve up a random poem or you can make a request to “her ladyship” for a specific poem or poet. Try out British Poetry.
Bonus Prize: Best Work from Home Hack ($5,000) – Work Break
Work Break is designed for anyone who works from home, and is intended to help keep them focused and productive, by giving them down time where they can enjoy a stretch break, have a snack, or do another activity. Try out Work Break.
Bonus Prize: Best Skill by High School Students ($5,000) – Cleaning Buddy
Cleaning Buddy is an all-in-one house cleaning skill with an optional exercise mode, so you can get fit and clean your entire home at the same. Make cleaning fun and easy, and let Alexa be your cleaning buddy! Try out Cleaning Buddy.
Bonus Prize: Best Skill by University Students ($5,000) – Slack with Voice
Slack with Voice connects your Slack workspace to Alexa, enabling you to read, react and reply to channel or direct messages, all with just your voice. Try out Slack with Voice.
Grand Prize Winner ($20,000) – Mommy-gram
Mommy-gram is designed to keep Mom (or Dad, or anyone for that matter) and kids connected, even when apart. Kids don't need their own cell plan and don't even need to know how to spell! They simply speak their message to Mom, it arrives conveniently as a text message, which Mom can respond to in the form of a notification sent back to the device. Try out Mommy-gram.
We hope you’re inspired by the winners to create your own voice-first life hack skill for Alexa. Download our guide to learn to build useful, habit-forming life hack skills for Alexa. Then build your own voice-first life hack that boosts your customers’ efficiency and becomes a part of their daily life.
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