echo

Arrival Of Premium Alexa Skills

Submitted by Peter on Wed, 10/25/2017 - 21:04

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.

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.

Alexa Skill Milestone Reached

Submitted by Peter on Mon, 02/27/2017 - 22:18

The Amazon Alexa team recently posted on the Alexa blog. The Amazon Echo was initially released on November 6th, 2014 to Prime members (and June 23rd, 2015 for non-Prime users). To have achieved sp many skills in such a short period of time is made even more impressive by the fact that skill developers currently cannot monetize their skill.

Major Tap Update?

Submitted by Peter on Thu, 02/09/2017 - 18:47

Over the last hour, there have been reports that a new over the air update is following out for the Amazon Tap. At present, the Tap requires a button to be pressed prior to being able to invoke a command. Well, the update reportedly changes this and allows the Tap to listen out for the wake word in the same fashion as the Echo and Dot.

I have checked the Amazon help and support page, however, the latest firmware is listed as 564197320 which introduced:

If This Then That (IFTTT) Now Supported In The UK

Submitted by Peter on Sat, 12/17/2016 - 00:42

With the release of the Amazon Echo in the UK 1 of the main complaints that users have had is the lack of If This Then That (IFTTT) support. Well, today Amazon has brought some good news to those awaiting the support, UK Echo's now support the IFTTT service. The bad news is that German users are still awaiting support.

So what is IFTTT

IFTTT is a collection of applets that can carry out a number of actions based on a trigger. For example, it would be possible to activate an applet that turns the lights off automatically when you leave the house.

Hackster.io Contest, Just 2 Weeks To Go

Amazon have partnered with Hackster.io to run a contest. If you are creating a skill that utilises a 3rd party public API this would be the perfect time to release that skill and enter the contest.

So What Are The Contest Details?

There are 2 categories for entering (you do not specify the category you are entering, this seems to be decided by the judges). The categories are Creative Skills and Useful Skills.

Peter Sun, 12/04/2016 - 01:00