Amazon Alexa Developers Conference (10 Oct, London)

7 Oct

Exciting times for Amazon Alexa!


Amazon Echo

  • Alexa has crossed over 3,000 skills in the US Skill Store, up from 1,000 in June;
  • Alexa has just started shipping in the UK and is coming soon to Germany too. Echo and Echo Dot were just made available in the UK, whereas in Germany they are available by invitation for those who want to help shape Alexa as she evolves—the devices will start shipping next month.
  • Amazon has also announced a new Echo Dot,  enabled with new Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) which allows devices to determine which device a user is talking to (meaning that only one will respond, when multiple devices hear the user). The Dot will increase the number of devices Alexa can talk to in the home, creating an innovative customer experience. It will retail for £49.99 and Echo for £149.99.

Here are 2 neat little YouTube videos showing Alexa in action.



In this context, Amazon is bringing their Alexa training events to Europe in October. Hello Alexa London is on Monday 10th October. 

  • Developers, engineers, QA/testers and anyone who wants to learn how to build skills can participate in the full-day agenda from 8:30am – 4:30pm (+ Happy Hour afterwards!)
  • Business development, strategy and planning, VUX/UX /VUI, account teams, producers and project management professionals can participate in the Alexa Business Development for Agencies session later in the day from 3pm – 4:30pm (and then of course join the Happy Hour!). They can also join the breakfast session, Welcome to Alexa (a 45-minute keynote) and Hello Alexa (a 1-hour session on the basics of creating a skill: what goes into the design, build, test, publish) from 8:30am – 10:45am.
  • Click here to register (although the event is already sold out by now!)  and hope to see you there!

I am really excited at how ubiquitous speech recognition is becoming! It was already ubiquitous as we were dragging it around on our smartphones (Apple SIRI, Google Now), but now it’s penetrated our homes too, crossing over work/personal/family lives. The future is omni-channel but unimodal?!

5 Responses to “Amazon Alexa Developers Conference (10 Oct, London)”

  1. lostfunzone (dothob) October 10, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    alexa is quite fun to work with! I’ve participated in the the ‘hello alexa’ event in berlin last week and have already developed some skills 🙂
    While I think I understand why they don’t allow developers to access the recognition result (like nbest list and confidence scores) I am under the impression that this constraint might impair the development of some more interesting skills in the alexa ecosystem. Let’s see what google home brings to the table 🙂

    • Dr. Maria Aretoulaki October 10, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

      They don’t allow access to the recognition result??! That _is_ a big limitation!

      Indeed let’s see what Google Home has in store too!

      • lostfunzone (dothob) October 10, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

        yup… they just give you access to the ‘intent’ which is basically a slot-value structure below an intent-identifier (like GetWeather with slots city and date).

      • Dr. Maria Aretoulaki October 10, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

        Oh well …

      • lostfunzone (dothob) October 10, 2016 at 9:32 pm #


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