about 9 hours ago

Certification Help on Monday

The certification period nearly over and we’re seeing lots of you are live! We also know that some skills did not pass and require updates. First, we encourage you to submit your fixes as soon as possible so they have a better chance of being reviewed again before the deadline.

The awesome Cami will be heading back to our Slack #officehours room on Monday, 2/25 from 2:00-3:30pm PST / 5:00-6:30pm EST to help you out. 

Remember, skills must be live by 5pm EST on March 7th in order to be eligible. The finish line is so close!

Questions?

If you…

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16 days ago

Alexa Skills for Students powered by AWS Educate (US-only)

If you're looking for another Alexa Skills Challenge, check out Alexa Skills for Students!

Alexa can help ease the lives of busy students, allowing them to focus on their studies. Whether it’s struggling with various classes, time management, or tutoring, Alexa can be a concierge, a study buddy, or a learning coach. But what else can she do for higher ed. students? For this hackathon, you'll build Alexa skills that fit into one of the following categories: Student life, Learning, or Community.

There are $30,590 in prizes including DeepLens video cameras, Echo devices, AWS credits, and Amazon gift cards.

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17 days ago

Certification Period Extension

Good news, everyone! We’re extending the certification period a little bit to make sure all skills are reviewed. The new timeline for the remainder of the challenge will be:

  • Certification Period: January 22nd - March 7th @ 5pm EST
  • Finalists Announced: March 8th
  • Customer Engagement Period: March 16th - March 29th
  • Finalist Judging: April 1st - April 5th
  • Winners Announcement: April 12th

This means you have 30 days from today to clear certification!


25 days ago

Finalists were not announced yet

I'm sorry! The finalists email went out prematurely. We are still well within the certification period so finalists are not confirmed yet. 


We'll post again once they are confirmed! 

 

 

Questions?

If you have any questions about the hackathon, please post on the discussion forum.


about 1 month ago

Thank you!

We want to thank all of those who took part in the challenge for all your hard work! The certification team and the first round of judges are reviewing the submitted skills. While you wait to hear who will win, check out the submission gallery and keep building new Alexa skills!

Questions?

If you have any questions about the hackathon, please post on the discussion forum.


about 1 month ago

Update: Touch events & Display Interface

We have recently discovered that in some instances, using touch events requires that the Display interface be turned on for a skill. If you are using touch events and running into this problem, we will NOT disqualify the submission as long as you still integrate APL and render at least one APL Document in your skill experience. However, you still shouldn’t use Display interface templates. Instead, use the equivalent samples that are in the skill Display authoring tool. 

Don't forget the deadline on Tuesday, Jan. 22nd at 5pm EST!

 

Questions?

If you have any technical questions about this or…

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about 1 month ago

Final call: Submissions close Tuesday (1/22)!

Just a final shout-out this is your LAST WEEKEND in the Alexa Skills Challenge: Multimodal to submit your skill.

Submissions are due January 22 before 5pm ET. Find out what time that is in your city.

Requirement Reminder

Main Requirement: Build (or update) and publish a skill that uses the new Alexa Presentation Language (APL) to add multimodal elements to voice-first experiences.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Skills using display interface or display templates are NOT eligible. Your skill must use APL and include at least one APL document to qualify

Questions?

If you have any questions about the hackathon,…

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about 1 month ago

One week to go–the deadline is almost here!

Time’s almost up - there’s only one week left to submit your Multimodal skill to the Alexa Skills Challenge.

Submissions are due January 22 before 5pm ET. Find out what time that is in your city.

Requirement Reminder

Main Requirement: Build (or update) and publish a skill that uses the new Alexa Presentation Language (APL) to add multimodal elements to voice-first experiences.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Skills using display interface or display templates are NOT eligible. Your skill must use APL and include at least one APL document to qualify

Questions?

If you have any questions about the hackathon,…

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about 1 month ago

New resource! Sample skill deep dive from the APL team

 

We know you're hard at work with the deadline approaching. The APL team put together a sample skill called Space Explorer to share with you. All the code is publicly available and can be viewed with these blog posts:

  1. Alexa Skill Teardown: Building the Interaction Model for the Space Explorer Skill
  2. New Alexa Skill Sample: Learn Multimodal Skill Design with Space Explorer

Questions?

If you have any questions about the hackathon, please post on the discussion forum of jump into the Slack channel.


about 1 month ago

Join Cami in Slack Office Hours

 

The wonderful Alexa Evangelist Cami Williams graciously offered to check in on our Slack channel at 2pm PST for an hour during the weekdays leading up to the deadline.

Head over and pose your questions or follow along with the other questions in the room #officehours 

 

 

 


about 2 months ago

Two weeks to go—submit early!

It’s getting close!  There are two weeks left to submit your Alexa Multimodal skill. Submissions are due January 22, 2019 before 5pm ET. (Find out what time that is in your city)

If you haven't started a submission yet, please do so now. (We’ll walk you through our submission form process if you need help.) And if you've just recently joined the challenge, explore the quick-start guide and browse the Resources page.

Submission checklist

Before the deadline passes, make sure you run through this list:

  • Are you submitting a functioning Alexa skill that that uses the…

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about 2 months ago

Adding Videos to your APL Skill: Update and Webinar for Participants

GREAT NEWS!

Alexa Devs can now add videos of ANY length to their APL skills (increased from a 30 second limit)

Read the full article regarding APL Videos here.

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WEBINAR UPDATE

Check out the next APL webinar "Adding Videos to Your Alexa Presentation Language Skills" on January 9, 10am-12pm PST (1pm-3pm EDT).  

<<Register Now>>

Questions?

If you have any questions about the hackathon, please post on the discussion forum.


about 2 months ago

Three weeks left—start your submission

There are three weeks remaining in the Alexa Skills Challenge: Multimodal. Submissions are due January 22, 2019 before 5pm ET.

Start your submission now

Starting a submission is a good way to make sure that your skill meets the requirements. There’s nothing worse than getting to the deadline, only to realize that you’re missing a key component. Remember: once you submit a project, you can keep editing it as needed at any time prior to the submission deadline. Need a primer on how the submission form works? Head over to our submission form tutorial.

Prepare your video

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about 2 months ago

Four weeks left - begin planning your submission video

With only four weeks left, we know you’re focused on preparing your Alexa skill for submission, but don't forget about your video. It's often the first (and sometimes only!) thing that judges review.

(Video Tip: Remember to show your skill functioning on a device or simulator and to include #AmazonAlexaMultimodalChallenge on the video page. This can be in the title, in the video itself, or in the video description text.)

Your video tells the story behind your submission, providing a clear way to showcase your app and talent in a video:

  • Establish your elevator pitch. In the first few…

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2 months ago

Did you know?! Fun Hack Fact Friday

Did you know?! Set Up Your VUI to Support Your Fire TV Cube GUI

As with any multimodal skill, you can choose what interfaces—voice user interfaces (VUI) or graphical user interfaces (GUI)—you can support. Regardless of the interface, you want to assure you are delivering an experience that can be handled on any device.

Developing an Alexa skill with a TV could easily be interpreted as creating a skill that more heavily relies on visuals, thus making them necessary for a standout skill. This is not the case for voice-first experiences: If you do not incorporate screens into your custom…

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2 months ago

Designing your Alexa Skill using APL

You can design with APL (Alexa Presentation Language) - When you design with APL, you create APL documents, which are JSON files sent from your skill to a device. The device evaluates the APL document, imports images and other data as needed, and renders the experience. In your APL documents, you can use:

  • Images, Text, and ScrollViews:  You can deliver images and text on-screen, and specify text color, size, and weight for available fonts. You can use ScrollViews to display text that is outside the bounds of the container. And, you can make both text and images responsive to…

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2 months ago

Prizes, Prizes, and more Prizes!

New feature alert! We are excited to share that the video feature for the Alexa Presentation Language (APL) is now available in beta! You can now add videos to your APL #AlexaSkills. Learn more

Prizes

Not only are Alexa Skills getter better with the addition of APL (Alexa Presentation Language), but so are the prizes for this Alexa Skills Challenge!

As if just building cool skills wasn’t enough incentive for you, here’s a reminder of the prize potential for eligible participants, including TWO participation prizes:

Overall Prizes:

  • Participant Prize
  • Note: Certified and eligible skills may win a participation prize.

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2 months ago

Don’t Miss Webinar - Building Winning Multimodal Skills with the APL (12/12)

WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENT!

Building Winning Multimodal Skills with the Alexa Presentation Language

Date: December 12, 2018

Time: 10am-12pm PDT (Find out what time this is in your city)

Join the Amazon Alexa team for this webinar to learn about the new Alexa Presentation Language as you prepare for the Alexa Skills Challenge: Multimodal. We'll share tips and best practices of using APL to build quality multimodal skills. We'll also help you update your existing multimodal skills using display templates to use APL.

<<Register Now>>

Questions?

If you have any questions about the hackathon, please post on the discussion forum.


3 months ago

APL - What the heck is that?

With Alexa Presentation Language (APL), you can build skills with voice and visual experiences that apply conditional layouts and data binding. If you have developed skills for Alexa-enabled devices with a screen, then you are familiar with display templates. You can use APL to create the equivalent of display templates. However, with APL, you have the power and flexibility to build multimodal skills with many visual elements–including graphics, images, and slide shows–and to customize the output for different devices.

With APL, you can create skills with full-featured, responsive, and interactive screen displays, in a manner similar to how you…

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3 months ago

Quick-start guide

It’s time to get started with the Alexa Skills Challenge: Multimodal! Once you have officially registered (if you haven’t done so already) we’ll be sending you regular updates throughout the competition. Submissions are due January 22, 2019 at 5:00pm ET

 

Main Requirement: Build (or update) and publish a skill that uses the new Alexa Presentation Language (APL) to add multimodal elements to voice-first experiences.

NOTES: Skills using display interface or display templates are NOT eligible. Your skill must use APL and include at least one APL document to qualify.

Your skill must be usable on voice-only devices such…

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