Many have wondered and considered how you can earn money for creating Alexa Skills. In the past there have been attempts in some level of monetization such as advertising, however, these have been shut down due to Amazon's terms of service. Some skill developers have earnt rewards such as t-shirts and Echo Dot's. In August Amazon also announced an extension to their rewards program based on skill usage however overall the potential is fairly limited.
Today has been a big day for announcements from Amazon.
The Amazon Show has been out in the US now for some time. The Show has now been listed on the UK and German stores. A release date of November the 16th has been set however you can preorder.
Release Date: November 16th, 2017
Today I was working on my submission for an Amazon contest over at Hackster.io (for those interested here is my submission). 1 of the requirements of the contest is that all code is posted publicly either in zip form directly in the skill brief or linked externally from a repository provider such as GitHub.
All day I have been non-stop preparing the code comments (not the best but commented none the less) and the moment I finished I submitted the skill to my GitHub account.
Hot off the heels of the announcement for the release of the Echo Look Amazon have now announced a new Alexa device.
The name? The Amazon Echo Show. This isn't just a reworked Echo with a different aesthetic, the Echo show comes with a 7" display as well as a built-in camera. So why would an Echo require a camera? Simple, so that you can make video calls.
A little over a week ago Google announced the public release of the SDK for the assistant. I wondered at the time how long it would take for someone to utilize both the Amazon Voice SDK and the Google Assistant SDK on a single device. At the time this was just an interesting concept that I did not think would see the light of day for a while, well I was wrong.
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.
If you have logged into the developer portal recently you may have noticed a slight change in the list of skills that you have. A new icon now appears.
Yesterday I started seeing reports that the Amazon shopping app was rolling out an update introducing the Alexa service and allowing you to have similar functionality that you have with your Echo.
Today Amazon suffered a major failure on 1 of their online services. The S3 services in the US-East1 (North Virginia) became unresponsive. The outage lasted several hours and impacted some quite large names.