Personal project Building an Alexa Skill

This month (july '17) I had the good fortune of attending the Alexa Skills Tour in NYC.  

The UX of voice based interfaces is an area I find totally fascinating.  From my point of view, this two day Alexa Skills workshop was great timing as I have just started to explore the area. I am reading these two books in relation to the matter Wired for Speech (MIT Press) and Designing Bots (O'Reilly). 

I was pretty happy with my output from the workshop - a skill for dining recommendations in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. This idea was inspired by Alexa workshop leader Rob McCauley's 'Local Guide' idea - which he walked us through in detail.  

The Lower East Side has been my home for the last 3 years and one of my favorite things about the area is the variety, quantity and quality of dining options. It's a little overwhelming at the beginning, especially for visitors. I named the skill "Lower Eats Side". 

'Lower Eats Side' skill in build mode on Amazon Developer

'Lower Eats Side' skill in build mode on Amazon Developer

The news that the Marriott and other hotels are exploring replacing standard hotel room alarm clocks (and phones) with an Amazon Eco is an interesting development.  So in my mind the users of Lower Eats Side would be tourists visiting the area, perhaps staying in an Airbnb or hotel. The skill could act as a well informed, up-to-date friend / food critic. The skill content would be 'hyper local', curated by a local and updated on a monthly basis. 

Amazon Eco making it's way into hotel rooms. Image source: Wynn Las Vegas Hotel

Amazon Eco making it's way into hotel rooms. Image source: Wynn Las Vegas Hotel