Recent Enhancements To SSML

Submitted by Peter on Sun, 05/07/2017 - 09:05

Amazon has recently announced a couple of good enhancements to the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) that help skill developers offer more as part of their skill sand to change the way response text is spoken.


Back in February Amazon announced SpeechCon's availability in the US. Speechcon's are words and phrases that might be better served when spoken in a non-standard manner.


Google declaring war? Assistant SDK Released!

Submitted by Peter on Sat, 04/29/2017 - 14:49

Google have recently announced the release of the SDK for their Google Assistant. This is of course in line with a lot of Google properties and allows 3rd party developers to create devices that utilize the Google Assistant technology. Amazon has of course had an SDK available for some time which has proved to be very popular with many manufacturers such as Lenovo, Ford and Huawei deciding to implement Alexa into their devices (big and small). We can fully expect the same to occur for Google.

Alexa Dev Chat Podcast - Edpisode 12

Submitted by Peter on Fri, 04/21/2017 - 19:27

Episode 12 has just been released of the Alexa Dev Chat Podcast.

The following is the podcast details:

In the episode Dave chats with Sameer Lalwani, Sr. Program Manager on the Alexa Skills Certification team at Amazon. Sameer shares best practices for getting your skill published as well as guidance for building more engaging skills for customers.


Google Home First Impressions

Submitted by Peter on Mon, 04/10/2017 - 09:47

I recently bought a Google home so that I can do a proper comparison between the Echo and the Home. The setup was extremely easy, I just needed to download the Google Home App from the app store and ensure my phone was connected to the WiFi. One thing that surprised me was that I was not prompted to connect to the Home via WiFi or Bluetooth. When I opened the app it started the setup process and asked me to decide which wireless network my Home should connect too.

Interesting Click Episode

Submitted by Peter on Sun, 04/09/2017 - 01:40

For anyone interested in Smart assistants such as the Google Home or Amazon Echo the BBC News show Click heavily focuses on Smart assistants.

The piece raises some interesting questions regarding the security of trusting such devices for controlling the home environment. The piece also raises the potential that as the services increase their knowledge about you that they will start tailoring prices for items you purchase using voice assistants. This really that far fetched. Amazon has fallen foul of this several times in the past.