Skills for Alexa include Capital One, Domino’s, Fitbit, KAYAK, PGA Tour, Samsung SmartThings, Uber, Big Ass Solutions and Nutritionix
Amazon shows who is boss in voice assistant services. On the heals of Google's announcement of Google Home, Amazon highlights the richness of Alexa.
The company today announced that developers have now released over 1,000 skills for Alexa, the cloud-based virtual assistant behind Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Tap, and other Alexa-enabled devices. With every new skill, Alexa gets smarter, giving developers a new way to delight their customers with voice-enabled experiences.
Creating an Alexa skill is easy and fast. Developers can use the Smart Home Skill API within the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to easily extend smart home capabilities for Alexa. They can also create custom skills with ASK by designing their voice UI and simply building cloud-hosted code that interacts with Alexa cloud-based APIs to process customer requests. Alexa does the work to hear, understand, and resolve the customer’s spoken request, and then maps the service call to the developer’s endpoint.
“Less than a year ago we released the Alexa Skills Kit, making it possible for any developer to create voice experiences for Alexa,” said Rob Pulciani, Director, Amazon Alexa. “Today, we have a vibrant community of tens of thousands of developers who are learning about the service, bringing useful and innovative skills to every aspect of Alexa customers’ lives, and introducing their own users to the magic and simplicity of hands-free, voice-driven interactions. We’re excited about the 1,000 skills that are already available, and can’t wait to see what developers create with the next ten thousand.”
The Alexa Skills Kit is a free SDK for developers that provides a low-friction way to build for voice and get an Alexa skill up and running in just a few hours. No experience with speech recognition or natural language understanding is required—Amazon does all the work to hear, understand, and process the customer’s spoken request so a developer doesn’t have to. Developers also benefit from the Alexa integration with AWS Lambda, an innovative compute service that runs a developer’s code in response to triggers and automatically manages the compute resources in the AWS Cloud.
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Since the launch of ASK, Amazon has added new features to make it easier to create Alexa skills including new built-in intents and slots, account linking, and audio clips. The company has also made it more convenient for customers to find and use skills, with skill sorting, ratings, and reviews and relaxed invocation phrases.