60 pippa.io <![CDATA[Alexa in Canada: Amazon Alexa and Echo Skills, Tips, and Tricks for Canadians]]> http://alexaincanada.ca en Copyright Alexa In Canada 2018 Teri Fisher Teri Fisher, from the Alexa in Canada Blog and VoiceFirst network, reveals all of his top Amazon Alexa skills, strategies, news, power tips and tricks for Canadians. Discover how you can get the most out of Alexa’s voice first service so you can have the time and freedom to make your life more organized, relaxed, stress-free, entertaining, and fun!


Although Teri confesses he does not have a complete Smart home, he uses Alexa to help him be more efficient in his daily life. Amazon Echo devices, personal digital assistants, smart home automation, flash briefings, voice recognition, natural language understanding, artificial intelligence (AI), and everything that works (and doesn’t work) to help you better understand how to get Alexa working for you.


Alexa in Canada is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Amazon.com, Inc.

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Teri Fisher, from the Alexa in Canada Blog and VoiceFirst network, reveals all of his top Amazon Alexa skills, strategies, news, power tips and tricks for Canadians. Discover how you can get the most out of Alexa’s voice first service so you can have the time and freedom to make your life more organized, relaxed, stress-free, entertaining, and fun!


Although Teri confesses he does not have a complete Smart home, he uses Alexa to help him be more efficient in his daily life. Amazon Echo devices, personal digital assistants, smart home automation, flash briefings, voice recognition, natural language understanding, artificial intelligence (AI), and everything that works (and doesn’t work) to help you better understand how to get Alexa working for you.


Alexa in Canada is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Amazon.com, Inc.

]]>
no Teri Fisher info+5a49cbf6eb6d506c77cc07d9@mg.pippa.io episodic https://assets.pippa.io/shows/5a49cbf6eb6d506c77cc07d9/1518476816158-45f8f16a4466ebac86d189c6c652f488.jpeg http://alexaincanada.ca <![CDATA[Alexa in Canada: Amazon Alexa and Echo Skills, Tips, and Tricks for Canadians]]> https://feed.pippa.io/public/shows/alexa-in-canada <![CDATA[Voice and Beyond Live with Tahsim Ahmed #39]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 07:00:27 GMT 38:54 5b6cebd3b42e9a5b362f2cac no full 1 39 <![CDATA[Voice Summit 2018 Recap with Pete Erickson]]> Tue, 07 Aug 2018 07:00:08 GMT 29:29 5b63f57cc32233af2767c0fc no full 1 38 <![CDATA[Voice Influencer Roundup on Voice Summit 2018]]> Tue, 31 Jul 2018 07:00:57 GMT 28:32 5b5c6bc8266bdee15152260d no full 1 37 In this episode, Teri talks about the amazing experience he had at Voice Summit 2018. With more than 3000 attendants and talks that covered every aspect of voice-first technology, from smart homes to voice gaming, it’s safe to say it was a smashing success. With so many amazing people around, it was impossible to sit down and have a comprehensive talk with everyone, so Teri asked some of the top influencers to share their thoughts in the form of a clip. So, here they are, from Canada to Germany to Israel, listen to what they have to say about voice technology’s future.


1. Bradley Metrock

CEO of Score Publishing

Runs The Alexa Conference and is also the brains behind Voicefirst.fm

Bradley was a guest on the Alexa in Canada Podcast. Listen to his interview here.

“There is a lot of excitement about voice. A lot of startups and established companies trying to learn how to do voice.”

2. Florian Hollandt

Game Developer at Jovo

One of the key authority figures in voice-first games

Visit his blog on Medium here.

“We’re developing an open-source framework which allows people to do cross-platform voice apps. I’m looking forward to hearing the experts on Alexa speak and learn from them.”

3. Michael Navat

Co-founder of Verto Lab

“We are very excited about the new platform, the new voice platform, which allows you to play easily hands-free games that are actually meant to be played by voice.”

4. Sophie Beckerman

Client Strategist at Fresh Digital Group

“I’m so excited to see how much voice can change the future and change the world. Voice is now and it will only grow in the future.”

5. Roger Kibbe

CEO of Voice Craft

“It’s amazing how far voice has come, and there is so much more for us to do.”

6. Marisniulkis Lescaille

Founder of Voice First Labs

“One of the things that really struck to me in the keynote is that the biggest challenge today we have in designing voice applications is designing human conversations.”

7. Michael Novak

Partner at Digital Transformation Partners

“In the last two years, we’ve watched the audience and the understanding where voice can be used grow immensely.”

8. Heidi Culbertson

CEO and Founder of Marvee

Heidi was a guest on the Alexa in Canada Podcast. Listen to her interview here.

“Often times, with aging, things become difficult that used to be simple, and voice brings back the simple.”

9. John Kelvie

CEO of Bespoken

“My prediction for what ‘s going to happen in voice is that voice is going to be growing more around the internet of things: home automation, connected cars, etc… It think that that’s going to go ahead of A.I and the natural language type use cases.”

10. Bahubali Shete

CEO and Founder of Klove Chef

This skill is available in Canada!

“I think the conference was great because of meeting all of the people who are interested in voice is something awesome.”

11. Ilana Shalowitz

VUI Design Manager at Wolter Kluwers – Emmi

She will be a keynote speaker at Voice of Healthcare Summit on August 7, 2018.

Ilana was a guest on the Alexa in Canada Podcast. Listen to her interview here.

“I’m so excited to be here… Having conversations about conversations is a real treat.”

12. Tahsim Ahmed

Product, Voice, Tech & Innovation Leader

He interviewed me live on his podcast Voice and Beyond during the conference. You can listen to it here.

“Some of the things I have learned from the conference is just seeing how big the space is really getting.”

13. Jon Myers

CEO of Earplay

“I’m here as part of the Voice Summit and it has been an incredible experience. There a lot more people here than I expected… It seems like there is very much a strong and core group voice community that is forming.”

14. Nick Schwab

CEO of Invoked Apps

Nick was a guest on the Alexa in Canada Podcast. Listen to his interview here.

“The perfect time to get into voice is right now. The next million dollar companies are going to be built on voice so now is the perfect time to get in.”

15. Adva Levin

CEO of Pretzel Labs

Winner of the Alexa Kids Skill Challenge

“I am wrapping up from Voice Summit, and this has been a really great event. I’m really glad I got to meet everyone from this inspiring and creative community… I can’t wait to see what people are going to build next.”

16. Pete Erickson

Founder of Modev; Creator of VOICE Summit!

“I am sitting here at the end of our 3-day event and I am really overwhelmed… It seemed to me that this community is just starting to connect and collaborate is ways that are actually defining what the voice industry even is.I am blown away. We are sitting big goals for ourself and Voice Summit was a total blast for me.”

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
In this episode, Teri talks about the amazing experience he had at Voice Summit 2018. With more than 3000 attendants and talks that covered every aspect of voice-first technology, from smart homes to voice gaming, it’s safe to say it was a smashing success. With so many amazing people around, it was impossible to sit down and have a comprehensive talk with everyone, so Teri asked some of the top influencers to share their thoughts in the form of a clip. So, here they are, from Canada to Germany to Israel, listen to what they have to say about voice technology’s future.


1. Bradley Metrock

CEO of Score Publishing

Runs The Alexa Conference and is also the brains behind Voicefirst.fm

Bradley was a guest on the Alexa in Canada Podcast. Listen to his interview here.

“There is a lot of excitement about voice. A lot of startups and established companies trying to learn how to do voice.”

2. Florian Hollandt

Game Developer at Jovo

One of the key authority figures in voice-first games

Visit his blog on Medium here.

“We’re developing an open-source framework which allows people to do cross-platform voice apps. I’m looking forward to hearing the experts on Alexa speak and learn from them.”

3. Michael Navat

Co-founder of Verto Lab

“We are very excited about the new platform, the new voice platform, which allows you to play easily hands-free games that are actually meant to be played by voice.”

4. Sophie Beckerman

Client Strategist at Fresh Digital Group

“I’m so excited to see how much voice can change the future and change the world. Voice is now and it will only grow in the future.”

5. Roger Kibbe

CEO of Voice Craft

“It’s amazing how far voice has come, and there is so much more for us to do.”

6. Marisniulkis Lescaille

Founder of Voice First Labs

“One of the things that really struck to me in the keynote is that the biggest challenge today we have in designing voice applications is designing human conversations.”

7. Michael Novak

Partner at Digital Transformation Partners

“In the last two years, we’ve watched the audience and the understanding where voice can be used grow immensely.”

8. Heidi Culbertson

CEO and Founder of Marvee

Heidi was a guest on the Alexa in Canada Podcast. Listen to her interview here.

“Often times, with aging, things become difficult that used to be simple, and voice brings back the simple.”

9. John Kelvie

CEO of Bespoken

“My prediction for what ‘s going to happen in voice is that voice is going to be growing more around the internet of things: home automation, connected cars, etc… It think that that’s going to go ahead of A.I and the natural language type use cases.”

10. Bahubali Shete

CEO and Founder of Klove Chef

This skill is available in Canada!

“I think the conference was great because of meeting all of the people who are interested in voice is something awesome.”

11. Ilana Shalowitz

VUI Design Manager at Wolter Kluwers – Emmi

She will be a keynote speaker at Voice of Healthcare Summit on August 7, 2018.

Ilana was a guest on the Alexa in Canada Podcast. Listen to her interview here.

“I’m so excited to be here… Having conversations about conversations is a real treat.”

12. Tahsim Ahmed

Product, Voice, Tech & Innovation Leader

He interviewed me live on his podcast Voice and Beyond during the conference. You can listen to it here.

“Some of the things I have learned from the conference is just seeing how big the space is really getting.”

13. Jon Myers

CEO of Earplay

“I’m here as part of the Voice Summit and it has been an incredible experience. There a lot more people here than I expected… It seems like there is very much a strong and core group voice community that is forming.”

14. Nick Schwab

CEO of Invoked Apps

Nick was a guest on the Alexa in Canada Podcast. Listen to his interview here.

“The perfect time to get into voice is right now. The next million dollar companies are going to be built on voice so now is the perfect time to get in.”

15. Adva Levin

CEO of Pretzel Labs

Winner of the Alexa Kids Skill Challenge

“I am wrapping up from Voice Summit, and this has been a really great event. I’m really glad I got to meet everyone from this inspiring and creative community… I can’t wait to see what people are going to build next.”

16. Pete Erickson

Founder of Modev; Creator of VOICE Summit!

“I am sitting here at the end of our 3-day event and I am really overwhelmed… It seemed to me that this community is just starting to connect and collaborate is ways that are actually defining what the voice industry even is.I am blown away. We are sitting big goals for ourself and Voice Summit was a total blast for me.”

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
<![CDATA[Skill Development with Nick Schwab of Invoked Apps #36]]> Tue, 24 Jul 2018 07:00:01 GMT 24:46 5b4ebd2e82d3c1a31efdea19 no full 1 36 <![CDATA[Amazon Prime Day for Alexa in Canada 2018 #35]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 19:00:03 GMT 17:20 5b4a2d5bb5c7f0046d122c90 no full 1 35 Prime Day 2018 is Here!

Prime Day is here and there are incredible deals on a bunch of Amazon Echo and Alexa products, including some of the lowest prices we have ever seen! This page has a complete list of all the Alexa products that are on sale for 36 hours, starting July 16, 2018 at 12pm PST/3pm EST.

Subscribe to Prime

As you may know, Prime Day sales are only available for Prime members, so if you are not already a member, sign up here for a 30 day free trial and then get shopping! Don’t forget – there are tons of other benefits to having a prime membership as well: Amazon Music, free shipping, free photo storage, and much more.


Echo Device Bundles.

Not sure which device to get?

Join the community and get instant access to our Echo Device Cheat Sheet!

JOIN NOW!

1. Echo Spot + Ring Video Doorbell Pro Bundle

Regular price: $469.98    Over 35% Off! Sale Price: ~$305.49

The Echo Spot and Ring Video Doorbell Pro Bundle is an awesome deal! In fact, you save about $165 bucks with this deal. Never guess who is at your front door again!

2. Echo Spot + TP-Link Smart Plug Bundle

Regular price: $208.99    30% Off! Sale Price: ~$146.29

The Echo Spot and TP-Link Smart Plug Bundle is a smoking hot deal! You can get a smart plug AND an Echo Spot for less than the cost of an Echo spot alone. This is the deal I personally will be getting (among others)! If you have been eyeing a Spot, jump on this deal!

3. Echo (2nd Generation) + TP-Link Smart Plug

Regular price: $164.98    35% Off! Sale Price: ~$107.23

Echo (2nd Generation) + TP-Link Smart Plug Bundle is another hot deal! Again, you can get a smart plug AND an Echo for less than the cost of an Echo alone.

4. Echo Dot (2nd Generation) + TP-Link Smart Plug Bundle

Regular price: $104.98    Over 40% Off! Sale Price: ~$62.99

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) + TP-Link Smart Plug Bundle is another hot deal! Again, you can get a smart plug AND an Echo Dot for less than the regular cost of an Echo Dot alone.

5. Echo (2nd Generation) + Sengled Lighting Kit Bundle

Regular price:     35% Off! Sale Price: 

Echo (2nd Generation) + Sengled Lighting Kit Bundle is another great bundle if you are looking for an Echo and a few smart light bulbs!

6. Echo Dot (2nd Generation) + Sengled Lighting Kit Bundle

Regular price: $119.98    Over 40% Off! Sale Price: ~$71.99

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) + Sengled Lighting Kit Bundle is another great bundle if you are looking for an Echo Dot and a few smart light bulbs!


Echo Devices.

1. Echo Spot.

Regular Price: $169.99    40% Off! Sale Price $129.99

The Echo Spot is on sale for the first time ever since coming to Canada! And it’s a good sale – $40 off!! So, this is the lowest price we have ever seen in Canada for the Echo Spot. Also keep in mind you can sweeten the deal by getting a smart plug with the Spot for about 15 bucks more (see above bundles).

2. Echo Plus with built-in Smart Home Hub

Regular Price: $199.99    $65 Off! Sale Price $134.99

The Echo Plus also has a great sale – $65 off!! This too is the lowest price we have ever seen in Canada for the Echo Plus. If you want an Echo device with a smart home hub built in, here is your chance to get one at an awesome price!

3. Echo (2nd Generation)

Regular Price: $129.99    $40 Off! Sale Price $89.99

The Echo also has a great sale – $40 off!! This too is the lowest price we have ever seen in Canada for the Echo. If you want the traditional Echo device, here is your chance to get one at an awesome price!

4. Echo Dot (2nd Generation)

Regular Price: $69.99    $35 Off! Sale Price $34.99

The Echo Dot also has a great sale going on – 50% off!! This too is the lowest price we have ever seen in Canada for the Echo Dot. This is simply the least expensive way to add Amazon Alexa devices to multiple rooms in your home or office. They also make great gifts at this price!


Alexa-Compatible Devices.

1. Sonos One Smart Speaker with Alexa Voice Control Built-in + $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Regular Price: $299.99    $50 Amazon Gift Card Included! 

The Sonos One Smart Speaker with Alexa Voice Control Built-in has a special offer attached to it for this year’s Prime Day – a $50 Amazon Gift Card! If you have been wanting to get Sonos One, now just might be your time!

2. iRobot 671 Roomba Robot Vacuum (Alexa-Enabled)

Regular Price: $479.99    35% Off! Sale Price $299.99

iRobot 671 Roomba Robot Vacuum has never been on sale in Canada, so again this is the lowest price we have ever seen in Canada for this product. Have you ever wanted to give someone (or something) the command to vacuum your place? Well, with this robot being Alexa-compatible, now you can!

3. Philips Hue White & Colour Ambiance A19 4 Pack Starter Kit (Compatible with Amazon Alexa)

Regular Price: $249.99    32% Off! Sale Price $169.99

The Philips Hue White & Colour Ambiance A19 4 Pack Starter Kit (Compatible with Amazon Alexa) is one of the most popular smart lighting products on the market, and yes, it is included in the awesome deals for Prime Day 2018! BTW, this is an awesome price!


]]>
Prime Day 2018 is Here!

Prime Day is here and there are incredible deals on a bunch of Amazon Echo and Alexa products, including some of the lowest prices we have ever seen! This page has a complete list of all the Alexa products that are on sale for 36 hours, starting July 16, 2018 at 12pm PST/3pm EST.

Subscribe to Prime

As you may know, Prime Day sales are only available for Prime members, so if you are not already a member, sign up here for a 30 day free trial and then get shopping! Don’t forget – there are tons of other benefits to having a prime membership as well: Amazon Music, free shipping, free photo storage, and much more.


Echo Device Bundles.

Not sure which device to get?

Join the community and get instant access to our Echo Device Cheat Sheet!

JOIN NOW!

1. Echo Spot + Ring Video Doorbell Pro Bundle

Regular price: $469.98    Over 35% Off! Sale Price: ~$305.49

The Echo Spot and Ring Video Doorbell Pro Bundle is an awesome deal! In fact, you save about $165 bucks with this deal. Never guess who is at your front door again!

2. Echo Spot + TP-Link Smart Plug Bundle

Regular price: $208.99    30% Off! Sale Price: ~$146.29

The Echo Spot and TP-Link Smart Plug Bundle is a smoking hot deal! You can get a smart plug AND an Echo Spot for less than the cost of an Echo spot alone. This is the deal I personally will be getting (among others)! If you have been eyeing a Spot, jump on this deal!

3. Echo (2nd Generation) + TP-Link Smart Plug

Regular price: $164.98    35% Off! Sale Price: ~$107.23

Echo (2nd Generation) + TP-Link Smart Plug Bundle is another hot deal! Again, you can get a smart plug AND an Echo for less than the cost of an Echo alone.

4. Echo Dot (2nd Generation) + TP-Link Smart Plug Bundle

Regular price: $104.98    Over 40% Off! Sale Price: ~$62.99

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) + TP-Link Smart Plug Bundle is another hot deal! Again, you can get a smart plug AND an Echo Dot for less than the regular cost of an Echo Dot alone.

5. Echo (2nd Generation) + Sengled Lighting Kit Bundle

Regular price:     35% Off! Sale Price: 

Echo (2nd Generation) + Sengled Lighting Kit Bundle is another great bundle if you are looking for an Echo and a few smart light bulbs!

6. Echo Dot (2nd Generation) + Sengled Lighting Kit Bundle

Regular price: $119.98    Over 40% Off! Sale Price: ~$71.99

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) + Sengled Lighting Kit Bundle is another great bundle if you are looking for an Echo Dot and a few smart light bulbs!


Echo Devices.

1. Echo Spot.

Regular Price: $169.99    40% Off! Sale Price $129.99

The Echo Spot is on sale for the first time ever since coming to Canada! And it’s a good sale – $40 off!! So, this is the lowest price we have ever seen in Canada for the Echo Spot. Also keep in mind you can sweeten the deal by getting a smart plug with the Spot for about 15 bucks more (see above bundles).

2. Echo Plus with built-in Smart Home Hub

Regular Price: $199.99    $65 Off! Sale Price $134.99

The Echo Plus also has a great sale – $65 off!! This too is the lowest price we have ever seen in Canada for the Echo Plus. If you want an Echo device with a smart home hub built in, here is your chance to get one at an awesome price!

3. Echo (2nd Generation)

Regular Price: $129.99    $40 Off! Sale Price $89.99

The Echo also has a great sale – $40 off!! This too is the lowest price we have ever seen in Canada for the Echo. If you want the traditional Echo device, here is your chance to get one at an awesome price!

4. Echo Dot (2nd Generation)

Regular Price: $69.99    $35 Off! Sale Price $34.99

The Echo Dot also has a great sale going on – 50% off!! This too is the lowest price we have ever seen in Canada for the Echo Dot. This is simply the least expensive way to add Amazon Alexa devices to multiple rooms in your home or office. They also make great gifts at this price!


Alexa-Compatible Devices.

1. Sonos One Smart Speaker with Alexa Voice Control Built-in + $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Regular Price: $299.99    $50 Amazon Gift Card Included! 

The Sonos One Smart Speaker with Alexa Voice Control Built-in has a special offer attached to it for this year’s Prime Day – a $50 Amazon Gift Card! If you have been wanting to get Sonos One, now just might be your time!

2. iRobot 671 Roomba Robot Vacuum (Alexa-Enabled)

Regular Price: $479.99    35% Off! Sale Price $299.99

iRobot 671 Roomba Robot Vacuum has never been on sale in Canada, so again this is the lowest price we have ever seen in Canada for this product. Have you ever wanted to give someone (or something) the command to vacuum your place? Well, with this robot being Alexa-compatible, now you can!

3. Philips Hue White & Colour Ambiance A19 4 Pack Starter Kit (Compatible with Amazon Alexa)

Regular Price: $249.99    32% Off! Sale Price $169.99

The Philips Hue White & Colour Ambiance A19 4 Pack Starter Kit (Compatible with Amazon Alexa) is one of the most popular smart lighting products on the market, and yes, it is included in the awesome deals for Prime Day 2018! BTW, this is an awesome price!


]]>
<![CDATA[How to Stay in Touch Using Amazon Alexa #34]]> Tue, 10 Jul 2018 07:00:44 GMT 17:20 5b404d0acd25e7f66fffc66c no full 1 34 <![CDATA[Top Ten Amazon Alexa Skills in Canada #33]]> Tue, 03 Jul 2018 07:00:08 GMT 16:57 5b2fc50d97cd27226c0471ad no full 1 33 Two weeks ago, I did a countdown of the top flash briefings in Canada. Today we are going to tackle the top ten Amazon Alexa skills in Canada, based on average customer ratings, of course! Before we proceed, one small caveat: I selected the skills based on the categorical meaning of the word. These are interactive skills and not just sound effects. I decided to sort the skills this way so you can see Alexa at her best. With that in mind, time to countdown the top ten!

Ready? Here we go! The Top Ten Amazon Alexa Skills in Canada!

#10 AnyPod, by Harrison Digital Media.

Love podcasts? This podcast-player skill has thousands of them! So, what’s cool about it? There are no buttons to fiddle with: your voice is the remote. To get started, you can ask Alexa to open AnyPod. After the greeting, you can dive right into your favourite podcast by asking Alexa to play it. You can also pause, fast forward, or rewind. This is the perfect skill to podcast away those 30 minutes you have free.

#9 Word of the Day Quiz, by Volley Inc.

Does this skill sound familiar? A couple of weeks ago, when I went over the top ten flash briefings in Canada, I spoke about “Word of the Day,” a flash briefing that, true to its name, teaches you one nugget of vocabulary per day. This skill is the flash briefing’s more inquisitive twin: it’ll quiz you on the word you just learned. If you are afraid you may choke on the quiz because you don’t know the word you’ll be quizzed on, fret not! The skill and flash briefing are intertwined so that the skill can take you to the briefing’s same word episode.

#8 TED Talks, by TED Conferences.

Feel like learning a little more after that last skill? Then, this skill is for you. TED Talks gives you access to some of the best speakers out there. You can search for talks by subject or by speaker name. If you’re in the mood for a surprise, you can also ask for funny, inspiring, persuasive, courageous, or jaw-dropping talks. The choice is yours.

#7 TP-LINK Kasa, by TP-LINK.

This skill is perfect if you are already hooked into the TP-LINK smart home ecosystem. Once connnected, it allows you set and handle your TP-LINK smart home devices. The smartphone app is just as polished as the skill. Here’s one interesting stat: TP-LINK is the only smart home device manufacturer on the “Top Ten Amazon Alexa Skills in Canada” list.

#6 Feel The Pressure, by Drew Cosgrove.

Bored of the same old board games on game night? This skill might just be the perfect antidote. In this trivia game, you go through a series of questions, most of them based on a letter of the alphabet, and, if you get 10 correct answers in a row, you win. It sounds deceptively simple, but don’t get overconfident, some of them are doozies.

#5 True or False? by labworks.io Ltd.

As the skill’s description notes, this is the perfect ice-breaker for parties. This skill has all the features to make it a knock-out party game. It’s delightfully simple; it supports a multiplayer mode; and it packs quirky, conversation-starter facts. There’s one downside, though. Sadly, and not that we don’t love hearing her, but the game is entirely spoken in Alexa’s voice. It would have been nicer to have a human touch behind this amazing game.

#4 Voice in Canada, by Alexa in Canada/Voice in Canada.

This is the only flash briefing that made it into the skills’ list. As you know, this is my flash briefing, so I won’t waste too much digital ink on it. If you are unfamiliar with it, here’s a short description: Discover top Amazon Alexa and Echo tips, tricks, skills, reviews, news, and deals and how to get the most out of Alexa’s voice-first service so you can have the time and freedom to make your life more organized, relaxed, stress-free, entertaining, and fun! Thanks again to all you listeners for making it the top flash briefing in Canada!

And now the top 3!

#3 Escape the Room, by Stoked Skills LLC.

Remember those text-based games that were a sensation in the 1980’s? They’ve made a comeback. But now, you use your voice to get out of nooks and pick up ammo. Here’s the developer’s description: You are trapped in a room. It’s up to you and only you to escape. Search your room, pick up items, and solve puzzles to find your way out. There are three rooms to choose from and more being added. The skill will track your stats and how fast you complete each room.

#2 Yes Sire, by Volley Inc.

Art thou a gamer, Alexa? With a cast of theatrical voices, this medieval-inspired game will transport you to the past. Here’s its description: Needy peasants. A backstabbing nobility. A king who is never satisfied. Nobody said that running a feudal fiefdom would be easy. But with this Alexa game, it is bound to be entertaining. You sit as a medieval lord of the realm, presented with an ever-expanding array of difficulty choices. Make good choices and stay in power as long as you can!

Let’s just say, if you want to keep your head, you better make the right choices.

And now for #1 of the Top Ten Amazon Alexa Skills… drum roll please…

#1 Would You Rather for Family, by Voice Games with alt Inc.

Here’s their description: Would You Rather for Family is a simple but addictive game where you make a choice between two lighthearted and silly situations. Will the rest of the world agree with your decision? You have to try the skill to find out! Enjoy hundreds of fun, family-friendly questions to keep all ages entertained for hours.

The game comes in three editions: Standard, Disney, and Harry Potter. The game itself is a hoot, but sometimes I noticed there was a small hiccup where the game would not select the edition I had picked.

And finally, honourable mention goes to…

On a final note, I do want to give a shoutout to Invoked Apps, LLC and to Voice Apps, LLC. They didn’t make the top ten Amazon Alexa Skills list, but it was not because of a lack of quality; on the contrary, their skills are top notch. However, because their skills are ambient-sound oriented and are not interactive skills in the complete sense of the term, they were not included on this list. Nevertheless, you should definitely check their skills in the Alexa Skills store, they are incredible. Perhaps I’ll do a list of the top ten Amazon Alexa skills in Canada, but specifically for ambient-sound skills in the near future? Comment below if you’re interested!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
Two weeks ago, I did a countdown of the top flash briefings in Canada. Today we are going to tackle the top ten Amazon Alexa skills in Canada, based on average customer ratings, of course! Before we proceed, one small caveat: I selected the skills based on the categorical meaning of the word. These are interactive skills and not just sound effects. I decided to sort the skills this way so you can see Alexa at her best. With that in mind, time to countdown the top ten!

Ready? Here we go! The Top Ten Amazon Alexa Skills in Canada!

#10 AnyPod, by Harrison Digital Media.

Love podcasts? This podcast-player skill has thousands of them! So, what’s cool about it? There are no buttons to fiddle with: your voice is the remote. To get started, you can ask Alexa to open AnyPod. After the greeting, you can dive right into your favourite podcast by asking Alexa to play it. You can also pause, fast forward, or rewind. This is the perfect skill to podcast away those 30 minutes you have free.

#9 Word of the Day Quiz, by Volley Inc.

Does this skill sound familiar? A couple of weeks ago, when I went over the top ten flash briefings in Canada, I spoke about “Word of the Day,” a flash briefing that, true to its name, teaches you one nugget of vocabulary per day. This skill is the flash briefing’s more inquisitive twin: it’ll quiz you on the word you just learned. If you are afraid you may choke on the quiz because you don’t know the word you’ll be quizzed on, fret not! The skill and flash briefing are intertwined so that the skill can take you to the briefing’s same word episode.

#8 TED Talks, by TED Conferences.

Feel like learning a little more after that last skill? Then, this skill is for you. TED Talks gives you access to some of the best speakers out there. You can search for talks by subject or by speaker name. If you’re in the mood for a surprise, you can also ask for funny, inspiring, persuasive, courageous, or jaw-dropping talks. The choice is yours.

#7 TP-LINK Kasa, by TP-LINK.

This skill is perfect if you are already hooked into the TP-LINK smart home ecosystem. Once connnected, it allows you set and handle your TP-LINK smart home devices. The smartphone app is just as polished as the skill. Here’s one interesting stat: TP-LINK is the only smart home device manufacturer on the “Top Ten Amazon Alexa Skills in Canada” list.

#6 Feel The Pressure, by Drew Cosgrove.

Bored of the same old board games on game night? This skill might just be the perfect antidote. In this trivia game, you go through a series of questions, most of them based on a letter of the alphabet, and, if you get 10 correct answers in a row, you win. It sounds deceptively simple, but don’t get overconfident, some of them are doozies.

#5 True or False? by labworks.io Ltd.

As the skill’s description notes, this is the perfect ice-breaker for parties. This skill has all the features to make it a knock-out party game. It’s delightfully simple; it supports a multiplayer mode; and it packs quirky, conversation-starter facts. There’s one downside, though. Sadly, and not that we don’t love hearing her, but the game is entirely spoken in Alexa’s voice. It would have been nicer to have a human touch behind this amazing game.

#4 Voice in Canada, by Alexa in Canada/Voice in Canada.

This is the only flash briefing that made it into the skills’ list. As you know, this is my flash briefing, so I won’t waste too much digital ink on it. If you are unfamiliar with it, here’s a short description: Discover top Amazon Alexa and Echo tips, tricks, skills, reviews, news, and deals and how to get the most out of Alexa’s voice-first service so you can have the time and freedom to make your life more organized, relaxed, stress-free, entertaining, and fun! Thanks again to all you listeners for making it the top flash briefing in Canada!

And now the top 3!

#3 Escape the Room, by Stoked Skills LLC.

Remember those text-based games that were a sensation in the 1980’s? They’ve made a comeback. But now, you use your voice to get out of nooks and pick up ammo. Here’s the developer’s description: You are trapped in a room. It’s up to you and only you to escape. Search your room, pick up items, and solve puzzles to find your way out. There are three rooms to choose from and more being added. The skill will track your stats and how fast you complete each room.

#2 Yes Sire, by Volley Inc.

Art thou a gamer, Alexa? With a cast of theatrical voices, this medieval-inspired game will transport you to the past. Here’s its description: Needy peasants. A backstabbing nobility. A king who is never satisfied. Nobody said that running a feudal fiefdom would be easy. But with this Alexa game, it is bound to be entertaining. You sit as a medieval lord of the realm, presented with an ever-expanding array of difficulty choices. Make good choices and stay in power as long as you can!

Let’s just say, if you want to keep your head, you better make the right choices.

And now for #1 of the Top Ten Amazon Alexa Skills… drum roll please…

#1 Would You Rather for Family, by Voice Games with alt Inc.

Here’s their description: Would You Rather for Family is a simple but addictive game where you make a choice between two lighthearted and silly situations. Will the rest of the world agree with your decision? You have to try the skill to find out! Enjoy hundreds of fun, family-friendly questions to keep all ages entertained for hours.

The game comes in three editions: Standard, Disney, and Harry Potter. The game itself is a hoot, but sometimes I noticed there was a small hiccup where the game would not select the edition I had picked.

And finally, honourable mention goes to…

On a final note, I do want to give a shoutout to Invoked Apps, LLC and to Voice Apps, LLC. They didn’t make the top ten Amazon Alexa Skills list, but it was not because of a lack of quality; on the contrary, their skills are top notch. However, because their skills are ambient-sound oriented and are not interactive skills in the complete sense of the term, they were not included on this list. Nevertheless, you should definitely check their skills in the Alexa Skills store, they are incredible. Perhaps I’ll do a list of the top ten Amazon Alexa skills in Canada, but specifically for ambient-sound skills in the near future? Comment below if you’re interested!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

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<![CDATA[Voice Summit with Pete Erickson #32]]> Tue, 26 Jun 2018 07:00:05 GMT 23:39 5b2e720125fdec62203fc149 no full 1 32 In this episode, Teri welcomes Pete Erickson, founder and CEO of Modev.com, and creator of events and communities including Voicehacks.com, Security by Design, Code Writers Workshop, Machinery.io, DevOpsNirvana and DevelopingIoT. Pete and his team are putting on Voice Summit in July, one of the year’s largest voice tech conferences.

Welcome Pete Erickson!

How did you get your start in voice technology?

Pete got into the technology space by way of community building. Flash-back to ten years ago: Pete had just exited his third start-up and was looking for his next opportunity. On seeing the iPhone and the App Store gain traction and noticing that there was no community around this amazing technology, he decided to start Modev, a meet-up community. Fast-forward to today: Modev, now with 40 people, does community-building at all levels and has been working with Amazon for the past seven years. Modev now has a close relationship with the Alexa team.

Why is the community building important for technology?

Modev operates on the very simple belief that human connection is vital in the era of digital transformation. As technology starts to speed up, it’s really critical for people to get together and engage and understand the new technology; otherwise, technology really can’t move forward.

What is the level of interest that you’ve seen in voice versus other technologies?

People are interested by new ways to interact with technology. With mobile, it was pretty much proven that if you had a good UX, your app was going to take off. Look at Instagram, for example. Well, now with voice the same pattern is becoming apparent. We launched Voice Summit on April 4th and, within four weeks, we had over 150 submissions. In the US alone, there are 50 million voice assistants inside peoples’ homes. People really want to get their hands on voice technology.

Could you tell us more about Voice Summit?

When we did our 10-city tour last year, one of the things we identified was that there was not a big-tent event that brought together the developers, the designers, product leaders and brands. We saw this opening and decided to launch the Summit. We brought that idea to the Amazon Alexa team and they agreed and we ended up with a diamond sponsorship underwritten by Amazon. This actually ended up being Amazon’s largest investment outside of CES (The International Consumer Electronics Show). The conference will be hosted in Newark, New Jersey, at the New Jersey Institute technology. We’ll have 11 tracks at the event; two of those eleven tracks will be actually taught completely by Amazon staff, so people can come to the event and get hands-on training from Amazon staff.

Any additional words?

There will be big-name brands at the event: Lego, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, etc. With more than 50 speakers, we’re going to have such a broad range of topics across many industries. This one is one for the books.

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
In this episode, Teri welcomes Pete Erickson, founder and CEO of Modev.com, and creator of events and communities including Voicehacks.com, Security by Design, Code Writers Workshop, Machinery.io, DevOpsNirvana and DevelopingIoT. Pete and his team are putting on Voice Summit in July, one of the year’s largest voice tech conferences.

Welcome Pete Erickson!

How did you get your start in voice technology?

Pete got into the technology space by way of community building. Flash-back to ten years ago: Pete had just exited his third start-up and was looking for his next opportunity. On seeing the iPhone and the App Store gain traction and noticing that there was no community around this amazing technology, he decided to start Modev, a meet-up community. Fast-forward to today: Modev, now with 40 people, does community-building at all levels and has been working with Amazon for the past seven years. Modev now has a close relationship with the Alexa team.

Why is the community building important for technology?

Modev operates on the very simple belief that human connection is vital in the era of digital transformation. As technology starts to speed up, it’s really critical for people to get together and engage and understand the new technology; otherwise, technology really can’t move forward.

What is the level of interest that you’ve seen in voice versus other technologies?

People are interested by new ways to interact with technology. With mobile, it was pretty much proven that if you had a good UX, your app was going to take off. Look at Instagram, for example. Well, now with voice the same pattern is becoming apparent. We launched Voice Summit on April 4th and, within four weeks, we had over 150 submissions. In the US alone, there are 50 million voice assistants inside peoples’ homes. People really want to get their hands on voice technology.

Could you tell us more about Voice Summit?

When we did our 10-city tour last year, one of the things we identified was that there was not a big-tent event that brought together the developers, the designers, product leaders and brands. We saw this opening and decided to launch the Summit. We brought that idea to the Amazon Alexa team and they agreed and we ended up with a diamond sponsorship underwritten by Amazon. This actually ended up being Amazon’s largest investment outside of CES (The International Consumer Electronics Show). The conference will be hosted in Newark, New Jersey, at the New Jersey Institute technology. We’ll have 11 tracks at the event; two of those eleven tracks will be actually taught completely by Amazon staff, so people can come to the event and get hands-on training from Amazon staff.

Any additional words?

There will be big-name brands at the event: Lego, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, etc. With more than 50 speakers, we’re going to have such a broad range of topics across many industries. This one is one for the books.

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
<![CDATA[Top Ten Flash Briefings in Canada #31]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 07:00:54 GMT 19:05 5b249c6bd680b06d41ec8b4d no full 1 31 With all the awesome guests I’ve had over the past few weeks, I had not had the chance to do a solo show in a while. Today, I want to focus on what I think is the prime real state of audio technology. I’m talking, of course, about flash briefings! And what better way to dive into them than by going over the best ones. Here is a list of the current top ten flash briefings in Canada, based on average customer ratings! Time to countdown the top ten!

Ready? Here we go! The Top 10 Flash Briefings in Canada!

#10 Easter Egg Daily, by LME Skills.

The first of the flash briefings on our list is all about Easter eggs, and these Easter eggs are fun little nuggets of entertainment. When enabled, this flash briefing provides you with short statements or questions (in Alexa’s voice) on what you can say to Alexa, like “Why are there so many rainbows?” for example. There are lots of other fun tidbits that you can learn about through the flash briefing. The Easter eggs are curated from the Things to Ask Alexa archive, on the Love My Echo site.

#9 Today in Canada, by Freeacademy.

Are you interested in what happened on in a particular day in Canadian history? Then the second flash briefing in our flash briefings list is for you. Today in Canada will tell you about something that happened on the particular day in Canada’s history. This one is also in Alexa’s voice.

#8 The Canadian Press Hourly News Updates, by The Canadian Press.

This is a news flash briefing with a twist: unlike other news flash briefings, this one has two feeds. As per their description: Get a 60-second or four-minute update from Canada’s national news agency − breaking regional, national and world updates, including sports news, weather bulletins and more. You can chose if you want to subscribe to one or both feeds. The four-minute feed is better produced, including a snazzy jingle which I believe makes for great audio branding by The Canadian Press.

#7 Word of the Day, by Volley Inc.

This flash briefing is for word aficionados, people wishing to become walking dictionaries, or for anyone looking to improve their vocabulary. According to their description: Word of the Day’s host teaches you a useful word, its definition, spelling, and an example of how to use it in a sentence. In other words, fun! Or should I say amusing, enjoyable, entertaining… To boot, the briefing updates daily and is narrated with a fresh sense of humour.

#6 CBC News, by CBC.

Let’s start with their description: CBC News brings you a Canadian perspective on what’s happening here, and around the world right now… wherever and whenever you want it. Every hour, every day, we are there with the best of CBC journalism, so you can hear and feel the world change, and know why it matters to you. And just like their description, the flash briefing oozes with professionalism: they have an anchor who sets up the stories and adds all the flavour of your usual radio news show. On a lower note, there have been a couple of times where the briefing was not available.

#5 BNN Bloomberg Flash Briefing, by Bell Media.

As you might have come to expect from the Bloomberg brand, this flash briefing is all about news. And just news. It fact, it is so direct it doesn’t even have time for any audio branding. It does have a human touch, however. The news is read by a human narrator. Let’s hear it from them: Get the latest business headlines and breaking financial news from the Business News Network Bloomberg every hour. That sums it up pretty well!

#4 GaryVee 365, by VaynerMedia

Here’s their description: A series of daily motivational quotes, phrases and sayings from Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia. Listen to Gary talk about Hustle, Self-Awareness, Self-Esteem, Empathy, Optimism, Gratitude, Patience, Legacy, Culture and more. One small note, though: you may not want to start the briefing around children. On this briefing, we get Gary Vaynerchuk as we’ve come to know and like him, without filters. Having said that, if you are looking for some inspiration from one of the top entrepreneurial minds around today, check this one out!

And now the top 3!

#3 The Daily from The New York Times, by The New York Times Company.

I can honestly say this is the best produced flash briefing I’ve come across. It’s NPR-style radio. It’s informative and entertaining. What separates it from the pack is its use of dialogue and commentary. And, following the trend of the other top flash briefings on the list, it also includes a solid audio branding. Here’s their description: This is how the news should sound. Fifteen minutes a day, five days a week. Only what you want to know and none of what you don’t. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Powered by New York Times journalism. Ready by 6 a.m. Enjoy this one!

#2 Hashtag Trending, by ITWC

This briefing is also incredibly well produced. Their site describes them as providing “updates on the trending technology news from top web sources like Google, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Product Hunt, and more. This skill contains one podcast feed that is updated every weekday and is about two minutes in length.” And they do this pretty efficiently, too. One of a variety of hosts starts by announcing the top three headlines from the day before, and then they break each of them down. Overall, it’s a great way to stay up to date on technology.

#1 Voice in Canada, by Voice in Canada.

As you of course know, this is my own flash briefing and I won’t dwell too much on it. I just want to note that, like the other top flash briefings on the list, Voice in Canada packs the three ingredients for what I believe makes a successful flash briefing: it has a recognizable audio branding (i.e. jingle), and a human touch (i.e. recorded audio and NOT Alexa’s voice) – in this case, me! Last but not least, I want to thank all the people who have rated it and made it number one.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
With all the awesome guests I’ve had over the past few weeks, I had not had the chance to do a solo show in a while. Today, I want to focus on what I think is the prime real state of audio technology. I’m talking, of course, about flash briefings! And what better way to dive into them than by going over the best ones. Here is a list of the current top ten flash briefings in Canada, based on average customer ratings! Time to countdown the top ten!

Ready? Here we go! The Top 10 Flash Briefings in Canada!

#10 Easter Egg Daily, by LME Skills.

The first of the flash briefings on our list is all about Easter eggs, and these Easter eggs are fun little nuggets of entertainment. When enabled, this flash briefing provides you with short statements or questions (in Alexa’s voice) on what you can say to Alexa, like “Why are there so many rainbows?” for example. There are lots of other fun tidbits that you can learn about through the flash briefing. The Easter eggs are curated from the Things to Ask Alexa archive, on the Love My Echo site.

#9 Today in Canada, by Freeacademy.

Are you interested in what happened on in a particular day in Canadian history? Then the second flash briefing in our flash briefings list is for you. Today in Canada will tell you about something that happened on the particular day in Canada’s history. This one is also in Alexa’s voice.

#8 The Canadian Press Hourly News Updates, by The Canadian Press.

This is a news flash briefing with a twist: unlike other news flash briefings, this one has two feeds. As per their description: Get a 60-second or four-minute update from Canada’s national news agency − breaking regional, national and world updates, including sports news, weather bulletins and more. You can chose if you want to subscribe to one or both feeds. The four-minute feed is better produced, including a snazzy jingle which I believe makes for great audio branding by The Canadian Press.

#7 Word of the Day, by Volley Inc.

This flash briefing is for word aficionados, people wishing to become walking dictionaries, or for anyone looking to improve their vocabulary. According to their description: Word of the Day’s host teaches you a useful word, its definition, spelling, and an example of how to use it in a sentence. In other words, fun! Or should I say amusing, enjoyable, entertaining… To boot, the briefing updates daily and is narrated with a fresh sense of humour.

#6 CBC News, by CBC.

Let’s start with their description: CBC News brings you a Canadian perspective on what’s happening here, and around the world right now… wherever and whenever you want it. Every hour, every day, we are there with the best of CBC journalism, so you can hear and feel the world change, and know why it matters to you. And just like their description, the flash briefing oozes with professionalism: they have an anchor who sets up the stories and adds all the flavour of your usual radio news show. On a lower note, there have been a couple of times where the briefing was not available.

#5 BNN Bloomberg Flash Briefing, by Bell Media.

As you might have come to expect from the Bloomberg brand, this flash briefing is all about news. And just news. It fact, it is so direct it doesn’t even have time for any audio branding. It does have a human touch, however. The news is read by a human narrator. Let’s hear it from them: Get the latest business headlines and breaking financial news from the Business News Network Bloomberg every hour. That sums it up pretty well!

#4 GaryVee 365, by VaynerMedia

Here’s their description: A series of daily motivational quotes, phrases and sayings from Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia. Listen to Gary talk about Hustle, Self-Awareness, Self-Esteem, Empathy, Optimism, Gratitude, Patience, Legacy, Culture and more. One small note, though: you may not want to start the briefing around children. On this briefing, we get Gary Vaynerchuk as we’ve come to know and like him, without filters. Having said that, if you are looking for some inspiration from one of the top entrepreneurial minds around today, check this one out!

And now the top 3!

#3 The Daily from The New York Times, by The New York Times Company.

I can honestly say this is the best produced flash briefing I’ve come across. It’s NPR-style radio. It’s informative and entertaining. What separates it from the pack is its use of dialogue and commentary. And, following the trend of the other top flash briefings on the list, it also includes a solid audio branding. Here’s their description: This is how the news should sound. Fifteen minutes a day, five days a week. Only what you want to know and none of what you don’t. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Powered by New York Times journalism. Ready by 6 a.m. Enjoy this one!

#2 Hashtag Trending, by ITWC

This briefing is also incredibly well produced. Their site describes them as providing “updates on the trending technology news from top web sources like Google, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Product Hunt, and more. This skill contains one podcast feed that is updated every weekday and is about two minutes in length.” And they do this pretty efficiently, too. One of a variety of hosts starts by announcing the top three headlines from the day before, and then they break each of them down. Overall, it’s a great way to stay up to date on technology.

#1 Voice in Canada, by Voice in Canada.

As you of course know, this is my own flash briefing and I won’t dwell too much on it. I just want to note that, like the other top flash briefings on the list, Voice in Canada packs the three ingredients for what I believe makes a successful flash briefing: it has a recognizable audio branding (i.e. jingle), and a human touch (i.e. recorded audio and NOT Alexa’s voice) – in this case, me! Last but not least, I want to thank all the people who have rated it and made it number one.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
<![CDATA[Voice Technology with Kesha Williams #30]]> Tue, 12 Jun 2018 07:00:26 GMT 31:33 5b1746c04307ea6a77b5449a no full 1 30 In this episode, Teri welcomes Kesha Williams. Kesha is a software engineer, mentor, professor, speaker, tech blogger, and S.T.E.M. advocate. She is the Founder of Colors of STEM & the Inventor of SAM (a predictive policing machine inspired by Minority Report that predicts the likelihood of crime) & Live Plan Eat (an Amazon Alexa skill that takes the stress out of meal planning).

Welcome Kesha Williams!

Kesha’s love for technology started a long time ago. In fact, as a child, she referred to coding as “playing on the computer.” And play she did. Starting in middle school, and all the way through high school, she spent hours coding so that when it came to choosing her major, she chose Computer Science without a second thought.

What are you doing now?

Kesha has been an Engineer Manager at Chick-fil-A for thirteen years. She currently leads a team that builds custom software applications for both corporate and customers. Her team researches cool and emerging technology, and that’s how they came to know Alexa. Kesha has won the “Think Different” award from Chick-fil-A for the three Alexa skills her team has created.

What kind of skills are they?

One of them is for Chick-fil-A customers so they can get nutritional information, such as how many calories are in a Chick-fil-A sandwich. The other two skills are more for the business side. One is for sales, so operators can see what their breakfast, lunch or dinner sales are, and help them make real-time business decisions based on the data. The other skill is an “on-the-clock” skill. This skill allows operators to know who is on the clock and who should be on the clock but isn’t!

Tell us more about Live Plan Eat.

Live Plan Eat is a complete meal-planning skill that Kesha developed to help with her own meal planning for her family. The skill helps create a meal plan/schedule and helps choose a variety of dishes from different cuisines.

What makes Alexa a smartspeaker?

There’s a lot goes on behind the scenes. A.I is a branch of Computer Science that teaches machines how to operate with little to no human intervention. In A.I, there’s a sub-field called machine-learning, where a computer looks at a bunch of data and finds pasterns and trends. In order to teach Alexa how to understand human language, there’s a lot of machine learning that needs to happen. Alexa takes what the user is saying, then parses it to understand what the user is saying and after that, the speech is sent to the skill or app and a response comes through.

How do you and your family use Alexa?

As a very busy person, Kesha Williams uses the Echo Show to plan her week ahead, and to listen to music and to relax. Her boys use it for setting timers, specially when they are helping in the kitchen. Along with her daughter, Kesha has developed spelling and multiplication skills to help her daughter with her school work.

Tell us about your passion for promoting S.T.E.M.?

Kesha says that she unfortunately doesn’t see a lot of women in the technology field, but hopes that this changes in the future. Kesha leads the Georgia Chapter of Technovation, a global computer program that teaches middle and highschool girls to build mobile apps for their communities. One Saturday each month, Kesha teaches programming to children. She also mentors with the New York Academy of Sciences, along with other women.

What’s your personal take on voice tech and its future?

Kesha says she is very excited about where voice tech is now and where it’s going in the future. When she got the first echo device, she felt like she was in Star Trek. She thinks Alexa will be at her best when its integrated in every area of life, like vehicles, for example.

Where is Kesha speaking next?

Kesha Williams will be the keynote speaker in the Alexa Conference, in Chattanooga TN, in January 2019.

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
In this episode, Teri welcomes Kesha Williams. Kesha is a software engineer, mentor, professor, speaker, tech blogger, and S.T.E.M. advocate. She is the Founder of Colors of STEM & the Inventor of SAM (a predictive policing machine inspired by Minority Report that predicts the likelihood of crime) & Live Plan Eat (an Amazon Alexa skill that takes the stress out of meal planning).

Welcome Kesha Williams!

Kesha’s love for technology started a long time ago. In fact, as a child, she referred to coding as “playing on the computer.” And play she did. Starting in middle school, and all the way through high school, she spent hours coding so that when it came to choosing her major, she chose Computer Science without a second thought.

What are you doing now?

Kesha has been an Engineer Manager at Chick-fil-A for thirteen years. She currently leads a team that builds custom software applications for both corporate and customers. Her team researches cool and emerging technology, and that’s how they came to know Alexa. Kesha has won the “Think Different” award from Chick-fil-A for the three Alexa skills her team has created.

What kind of skills are they?

One of them is for Chick-fil-A customers so they can get nutritional information, such as how many calories are in a Chick-fil-A sandwich. The other two skills are more for the business side. One is for sales, so operators can see what their breakfast, lunch or dinner sales are, and help them make real-time business decisions based on the data. The other skill is an “on-the-clock” skill. This skill allows operators to know who is on the clock and who should be on the clock but isn’t!

Tell us more about Live Plan Eat.

Live Plan Eat is a complete meal-planning skill that Kesha developed to help with her own meal planning for her family. The skill helps create a meal plan/schedule and helps choose a variety of dishes from different cuisines.

What makes Alexa a smartspeaker?

There’s a lot goes on behind the scenes. A.I is a branch of Computer Science that teaches machines how to operate with little to no human intervention. In A.I, there’s a sub-field called machine-learning, where a computer looks at a bunch of data and finds pasterns and trends. In order to teach Alexa how to understand human language, there’s a lot of machine learning that needs to happen. Alexa takes what the user is saying, then parses it to understand what the user is saying and after that, the speech is sent to the skill or app and a response comes through.

How do you and your family use Alexa?

As a very busy person, Kesha Williams uses the Echo Show to plan her week ahead, and to listen to music and to relax. Her boys use it for setting timers, specially when they are helping in the kitchen. Along with her daughter, Kesha has developed spelling and multiplication skills to help her daughter with her school work.

Tell us about your passion for promoting S.T.E.M.?

Kesha says that she unfortunately doesn’t see a lot of women in the technology field, but hopes that this changes in the future. Kesha leads the Georgia Chapter of Technovation, a global computer program that teaches middle and highschool girls to build mobile apps for their communities. One Saturday each month, Kesha teaches programming to children. She also mentors with the New York Academy of Sciences, along with other women.

What’s your personal take on voice tech and its future?

Kesha says she is very excited about where voice tech is now and where it’s going in the future. When she got the first echo device, she felt like she was in Star Trek. She thinks Alexa will be at her best when its integrated in every area of life, like vehicles, for example.

Where is Kesha speaking next?

Kesha Williams will be the keynote speaker in the Alexa Conference, in Chattanooga TN, in January 2019.

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
<![CDATA[Amazon Alexa with Dave Isbitski #29]]> Tue, 05 Jun 2018 07:00:44 GMT 56:30 5b0f32d81f85233603f8be24 no full 1 29 In this episode, Teri welcomes Dave Isbitski, Chief Evangelist of Alexa and Echo at Amazon, and voice-technology and natural language understanding educator.

Welcome Dave Isbitski!

As a child who grew up with a healthy serving of 1980’s sci-fi films in his entertainment diet, Dave Isbitski naturally believed that technology was the way forward. This started him off on a winding path that led to where he is today. In the 1990’s, he offered consulting services to corporate companies. He then worked as a technical evangelist for Microsoft, in the Pharmaceutical sector. In 2008, he was asked to start a community to teach people new software. He was the liaison between engineers and developers and the marketing team. His goal was to demystify and explain software to the average “lay person.” In 2013, Amazon entered the picture. Amazon showed Dave the Kindle Fire tablets and asked him to work his magic like he had done for Microsoft. He built a community around Android apps, the Amazon TV and the Fire phone. Finally, in 2014, Amazon showed him the seed of the gadget that would become the Echo… and the rest is history.

What does it mean to be a Chief Evangelist?

The Chief Evangelist at Amazon (i.e. Dave Isbitski!) has two main roles. It’s part Chief Educator and part Chief Advocate. It’s about what needs to be created and what’s missing. There are three very separate components to the whole process:

1. Support the product when it’s out in the world.

2. Take the time to travel and teach and get feedback on the products.

3. Bring all the feedback back to the developers for improvement. Then it’s rinse and repeat.

Why do some features take time to come to Canada, even though it’s the same language as the US?

The language is not actually the same in Canada and the US, at least as far as the language models go behind Alexa. It’s very easy to forget how sophisticated the computer science behind Alexa is. At the base of it all, there’s a language model. In it, several processes come into play. The first component in this model is the Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). This includes dialects, pronunciation changes, etc. Behind ASR, there is a larger, more abstract process called Natural Language Understanding (NLU). A third component is that in order to teach Alexa to respond to simple utterances like “how many calories will I lose if I run for an hour?”, developers create intents. There are many intents that can lead to the same response. Based on the previous example, one could also ask ” How many calories will I lose if I run for sixty minutes?” Here you have two different intents that lead to the same answer. Keep in mind that in this example, this is still in the same language, in the same dialect and in the same region. When you factor in different dialects, new locations and new cultures (i.e new countries), it takes time to develop accurate language models for each country. The last thing Amazon wants is to have it appear that Alexa is a tourist in a country outside of the US. The language model must be right before Alexa can have each of the features in the different countries.

What does “Alexa Everywhere” mean?

What Amazon really means is “conversation everywhere.” Alexa is becoming so natural, and that is what Amazon is most proud of. It’s not really about having her everywhere; it’s about being able to have a conversation everywhere. This will naturally lead to people having more than one Echo device. In fact, the Amazon team has actually come up with a technology called Echo Spatial Perception. Based on the sound waves your voice produces, Alexa will be able to figure out which device got the best reception of your command (i.e. the closest device) and switch to that device.

What is Amazon’s approach to privacy with this device?

From the start, people have been concerned about privacy. Amazon’s approach is to let people decide how they want to use the technology. They have given people many options to protect their own privacy. When you mute the Echo, it’s muted at the silicon level, so there’s no possibility of hacking the software to un-mute it. You can set pass-codes to make purchases, calls, etc. Also, Alexa is not recording all the time. Alexa only starts recording when it hears the wake word. Lastly, if none of these work for you, you can call Amazon and have them delete all the data Alexa has gathered through conversations with you.

Where are Amazon and Alexa taking us?

Dave’s personal opinion is that in the future when you are speaking to your grand-kids about how much time you used to spend in front of screens, they’ll laugh. They’ll laugh because how obtrusive our current technology is. The future is that conversation will bring back some of that humanity that we have lost. Talk is inclusive. It’s super early, but we are beginning to see the change.

A big thanks again to Dave Isbitski for joining us on the podcast!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
In this episode, Teri welcomes Dave Isbitski, Chief Evangelist of Alexa and Echo at Amazon, and voice-technology and natural language understanding educator.

Welcome Dave Isbitski!

As a child who grew up with a healthy serving of 1980’s sci-fi films in his entertainment diet, Dave Isbitski naturally believed that technology was the way forward. This started him off on a winding path that led to where he is today. In the 1990’s, he offered consulting services to corporate companies. He then worked as a technical evangelist for Microsoft, in the Pharmaceutical sector. In 2008, he was asked to start a community to teach people new software. He was the liaison between engineers and developers and the marketing team. His goal was to demystify and explain software to the average “lay person.” In 2013, Amazon entered the picture. Amazon showed Dave the Kindle Fire tablets and asked him to work his magic like he had done for Microsoft. He built a community around Android apps, the Amazon TV and the Fire phone. Finally, in 2014, Amazon showed him the seed of the gadget that would become the Echo… and the rest is history.

What does it mean to be a Chief Evangelist?

The Chief Evangelist at Amazon (i.e. Dave Isbitski!) has two main roles. It’s part Chief Educator and part Chief Advocate. It’s about what needs to be created and what’s missing. There are three very separate components to the whole process:

1. Support the product when it’s out in the world.

2. Take the time to travel and teach and get feedback on the products.

3. Bring all the feedback back to the developers for improvement. Then it’s rinse and repeat.

Why do some features take time to come to Canada, even though it’s the same language as the US?

The language is not actually the same in Canada and the US, at least as far as the language models go behind Alexa. It’s very easy to forget how sophisticated the computer science behind Alexa is. At the base of it all, there’s a language model. In it, several processes come into play. The first component in this model is the Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). This includes dialects, pronunciation changes, etc. Behind ASR, there is a larger, more abstract process called Natural Language Understanding (NLU). A third component is that in order to teach Alexa to respond to simple utterances like “how many calories will I lose if I run for an hour?”, developers create intents. There are many intents that can lead to the same response. Based on the previous example, one could also ask ” How many calories will I lose if I run for sixty minutes?” Here you have two different intents that lead to the same answer. Keep in mind that in this example, this is still in the same language, in the same dialect and in the same region. When you factor in different dialects, new locations and new cultures (i.e new countries), it takes time to develop accurate language models for each country. The last thing Amazon wants is to have it appear that Alexa is a tourist in a country outside of the US. The language model must be right before Alexa can have each of the features in the different countries.

What does “Alexa Everywhere” mean?

What Amazon really means is “conversation everywhere.” Alexa is becoming so natural, and that is what Amazon is most proud of. It’s not really about having her everywhere; it’s about being able to have a conversation everywhere. This will naturally lead to people having more than one Echo device. In fact, the Amazon team has actually come up with a technology called Echo Spatial Perception. Based on the sound waves your voice produces, Alexa will be able to figure out which device got the best reception of your command (i.e. the closest device) and switch to that device.

What is Amazon’s approach to privacy with this device?

From the start, people have been concerned about privacy. Amazon’s approach is to let people decide how they want to use the technology. They have given people many options to protect their own privacy. When you mute the Echo, it’s muted at the silicon level, so there’s no possibility of hacking the software to un-mute it. You can set pass-codes to make purchases, calls, etc. Also, Alexa is not recording all the time. Alexa only starts recording when it hears the wake word. Lastly, if none of these work for you, you can call Amazon and have them delete all the data Alexa has gathered through conversations with you.

Where are Amazon and Alexa taking us?

Dave’s personal opinion is that in the future when you are speaking to your grand-kids about how much time you used to spend in front of screens, they’ll laugh. They’ll laugh because how obtrusive our current technology is. The future is that conversation will bring back some of that humanity that we have lost. Talk is inclusive. It’s super early, but we are beginning to see the change.

A big thanks again to Dave Isbitski for joining us on the podcast!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
<![CDATA[VoiceBot.AI with Bret Kinsella #28]]> Tue, 29 May 2018 07:00:39 GMT 46:22 5b087481a381629c0e3f6e69 no full 1 28 In this episode, Teri welcomes Bret Kinsella, the editor and publisher of Voicebot.ai, the top news and commentary site on all things voice and A.I.


Welcome Bret Kinsella!

As someone who’s been working in technology since the mid 90’s, Bret has seen how the biggest technologies today, web, mobile and social, evolved. He founded Voicebot.ai in September 2016, after seeing the potential of voice-first technology in interactive voice ads.When he’s not speaking at one of the numerous conferences he’s invited to, Bret is hosting the Voicebot.ai podcast.

Below you will find a summary of the important points that we discussed. Enjoy!

What is Voicebot.ai?

Voicebot.ai is a hub for all things to do with voice technology. They have built a large community around their website; On it, you can find voice technology-related research and news. They also have a popular podcast, where they interview people who are changing the industry. Unlike other tech blogs, Voicebot takes a more scientific approach to data and research.

What trends have you seen in Canada?

Canadians have embraced smart speakers much faster than Americans. After three years in the market, only 7% of Americans owned a smart speaker. In Canada, by contrast, where Google Home launched in May-June

of last year and the Amazon Echo just a few months later, the adoption rate was at 8%, at least as of March, when the survey was conducted.

How is market share going to play into all of this?

It’s hard to predict how market share is going to shift. What we can see, though, is that market share is diversifying more quickly as new companies come up with new smart speakers. In the US, as of the end of 2016, the Echo (which at that time had been in the market for about a year) had 93% market share; the other 7% was held by Google Home, which had launched just two months earlier.

Things are shifting more quickly here in Canada. For example, just this last quarter, Google Home ended with 63% market share and Amazon with 30%. There’s a 7% overlap, these are people who own both Google Home and the Echo. That’s very telling about the interest people have in the technology.

How is voice technology going to change in the future?

As voice technology gains traction and people start seeing it in night shows, Youtube, social media, etc., they’ll start buying more smart speakers. While the first wave of adopters might have been part of a niche, the market will expand quickly into different age groups and families. As the market diversifies, smart assistants like Alexa will get different, more specific skills tailored for those new people.

Where is voice technology going?

When thinking about voice technology, it’s good to keep in mind that this is a new interface. Just like the iPhone did away with the keyboard, voice will do away with touch. Voice is unbounded. Voice technology is still defining itself, and, in 5 to 10 years, we’ll likely see it disrupting other less convenient technologies. 

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
In this episode, Teri welcomes Bret Kinsella, the editor and publisher of Voicebot.ai, the top news and commentary site on all things voice and A.I.


Welcome Bret Kinsella!

As someone who’s been working in technology since the mid 90’s, Bret has seen how the biggest technologies today, web, mobile and social, evolved. He founded Voicebot.ai in September 2016, after seeing the potential of voice-first technology in interactive voice ads.When he’s not speaking at one of the numerous conferences he’s invited to, Bret is hosting the Voicebot.ai podcast.

Below you will find a summary of the important points that we discussed. Enjoy!

What is Voicebot.ai?

Voicebot.ai is a hub for all things to do with voice technology. They have built a large community around their website; On it, you can find voice technology-related research and news. They also have a popular podcast, where they interview people who are changing the industry. Unlike other tech blogs, Voicebot takes a more scientific approach to data and research.

What trends have you seen in Canada?

Canadians have embraced smart speakers much faster than Americans. After three years in the market, only 7% of Americans owned a smart speaker. In Canada, by contrast, where Google Home launched in May-June

of last year and the Amazon Echo just a few months later, the adoption rate was at 8%, at least as of March, when the survey was conducted.

How is market share going to play into all of this?

It’s hard to predict how market share is going to shift. What we can see, though, is that market share is diversifying more quickly as new companies come up with new smart speakers. In the US, as of the end of 2016, the Echo (which at that time had been in the market for about a year) had 93% market share; the other 7% was held by Google Home, which had launched just two months earlier.

Things are shifting more quickly here in Canada. For example, just this last quarter, Google Home ended with 63% market share and Amazon with 30%. There’s a 7% overlap, these are people who own both Google Home and the Echo. That’s very telling about the interest people have in the technology.

How is voice technology going to change in the future?

As voice technology gains traction and people start seeing it in night shows, Youtube, social media, etc., they’ll start buying more smart speakers. While the first wave of adopters might have been part of a niche, the market will expand quickly into different age groups and families. As the market diversifies, smart assistants like Alexa will get different, more specific skills tailored for those new people.

Where is voice technology going?

When thinking about voice technology, it’s good to keep in mind that this is a new interface. Just like the iPhone did away with the keyboard, voice will do away with touch. Voice is unbounded. Voice technology is still defining itself, and, in 5 to 10 years, we’ll likely see it disrupting other less convenient technologies. 

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
<![CDATA[Alexa and Aging with Heidi Culbertson from Marvee #27]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 07:00:37 GMT 36:03 5affab98beb378261e0365d8 no full 1 27 isolation.


Welcome Heidi Culbertson!

Heidi has a tremendous amount of experience in emerging technologies. Her current focus is on voice technology and it’s application for the aging population. Heidi joins me to discuss the growing use of voice-first technologies among this most important group of people. Heidi in a well-renowned speaker, having appeared at numerous conferences and events, and she truly is a wealth of knowledge in this field.

Below you will find a summary of the important points that we dicussed. Enjoy!

Aging and Voice-First Technology

  • Heidi discusses with us her experience with her mother (Marvee) who developed macular degeneration, and how using an Amazon Echo helped to give Marvee back her independence.
  • There are currently 55,000,000 people in the US over the age of 65, making this area of voice-technology extremely relevant today.
  • Voice-first technology provides “micro-moments of better quality of life.”
  • The emergence of the Amazon Echo reminds Heidi of when the iPhone first came out – we will see some very incredible social impacts in the near future from this technology.

Marvee

“What a unique opportunity to grow a business and do social good.” Heidi Culbertson
  • A voice-first company designed to improve the social engagement of the elderly.
  • Marvee has a number of components to the business:

Ask Marvee

  • A platform designed for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to increase the social engagement of the aging population.
  • Includes 4 features:
  • 3 personal notification features – “I’m ok.” “Visit me.” “Call me.”
  • 1 family news messaging feature
  • There are approximately 30 more features in development.
  • Currently only in the United States, but will be coming to Canada this year.

Marvee Academy

A subscription online training program designed to train the elderly and care team of the elderly around the concepts of voice-first technology.

Marvee Community

A closed business community platform (e.g. assisted living, senior center, family group) where one can drive engagement with the seniors.

Marvee Studio

Voice-first strategy and speaking group.

Heidi’s Parting Message

Buy an Echo for your aging loved ones to help them increase their independence and reduce social isolation. Consider the Echo over the Echo Dot, particularly for people with hearing impairment, due to the better sound.

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
isolation.


Welcome Heidi Culbertson!

Heidi has a tremendous amount of experience in emerging technologies. Her current focus is on voice technology and it’s application for the aging population. Heidi joins me to discuss the growing use of voice-first technologies among this most important group of people. Heidi in a well-renowned speaker, having appeared at numerous conferences and events, and she truly is a wealth of knowledge in this field.

Below you will find a summary of the important points that we dicussed. Enjoy!

Aging and Voice-First Technology

  • Heidi discusses with us her experience with her mother (Marvee) who developed macular degeneration, and how using an Amazon Echo helped to give Marvee back her independence.
  • There are currently 55,000,000 people in the US over the age of 65, making this area of voice-technology extremely relevant today.
  • Voice-first technology provides “micro-moments of better quality of life.”
  • The emergence of the Amazon Echo reminds Heidi of when the iPhone first came out – we will see some very incredible social impacts in the near future from this technology.

Marvee

“What a unique opportunity to grow a business and do social good.” Heidi Culbertson
  • A voice-first company designed to improve the social engagement of the elderly.
  • Marvee has a number of components to the business:

Ask Marvee

  • A platform designed for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to increase the social engagement of the aging population.
  • Includes 4 features:
  • 3 personal notification features – “I’m ok.” “Visit me.” “Call me.”
  • 1 family news messaging feature
  • There are approximately 30 more features in development.
  • Currently only in the United States, but will be coming to Canada this year.

Marvee Academy

A subscription online training program designed to train the elderly and care team of the elderly around the concepts of voice-first technology.

Marvee Community

A closed business community platform (e.g. assisted living, senior center, family group) where one can drive engagement with the seniors.

Marvee Studio

Voice-first strategy and speaking group.

Heidi’s Parting Message

Buy an Echo for your aging loved ones to help them increase their independence and reduce social isolation. Consider the Echo over the Echo Dot, particularly for people with hearing impairment, due to the better sound.

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
<![CDATA[Trebble.FM with Armel Beaudry Kembe #26]]> Tue, 15 May 2018 07:00:25 GMT 36:56 5af76a1e9da871234c0ecf4b no full 1 26 In this episode, Teri welcomes Armel Beaudry Dembe, the founder of Trebble.FM, to talk about his new all-Canadian platform that makes it super-easy to create your own newscasts for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for free.

Welcome Armel Beaudry Kembe!

Armel is a software engineer and has extensive experience in audio technology and communications. It was a pleasure to have him on the podcast to talk about his new platform, Trebble.FM, and how you can use it to create your own “capsules” of audio for your audience to consume.

Armel is originally from Camaroon. In 2015, he moved to Ontario and studied software engineering at the University of Ottawa. He then worked for a few communications software companies, before eventually starting Trebble.

What is Trebble.FM?

Trebble.FM is a free service that allows users with no technical experience to record byte-size “shortcast” voice messages (aka “capsules”) on Trebble.fm using your smartphone or internet browser. Then, anyone in the world with a voice-activated speaker, such as the Amazon Echo, will be able to listen to you instantly.

Trebble allows you to create a series of short audio recordings or music selections, which can then be personalized with your commentary. Imagine being the DJ of your own smart radio station (i.e. your “trebble”), or sharing your knowledge of a topic in a series of short audio recording (i.e. “capsules”). This is exactly what Trebble allows you to do, without requiring any coding or technical knowledge.

Trebble is currently in beta, but there are plans to release the first version publicly in the summer of 2018. To access the beta version now, see the links below.

How to Setup a Trebble

  • Create a Trebble.FM account.
  • Complete the on-boarding wizard, and choose the name of your station (i.e. your “Trebble”)
  • Record audio directly on your phone or computer, up to 90 seconds in length. Or upload pre-recorded audio.
  • Give these individual recording (i.e. “capsules”) a title, description, and optionally add a URL link.
  • Decide how long the capsule should be on-air.
  • Add as many capsules as you like, which can cover the same or different topics.
  • That’s it! Your Trebble station is now on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant!

The listener can then use Alexa to listen to the capsules.

“Alexa, ask Trebble FM to play news from Alexa in Canada.”
“What can I do with Trebble?”
“Alexa, ask Trebble to play my news.”
“Can you give me suggestions?”

Trebble.FM is looking to grow!

If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Armel through email at armelbeaudry@trebble.fm

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
In this episode, Teri welcomes Armel Beaudry Dembe, the founder of Trebble.FM, to talk about his new all-Canadian platform that makes it super-easy to create your own newscasts for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for free.

Welcome Armel Beaudry Kembe!

Armel is a software engineer and has extensive experience in audio technology and communications. It was a pleasure to have him on the podcast to talk about his new platform, Trebble.FM, and how you can use it to create your own “capsules” of audio for your audience to consume.

Armel is originally from Camaroon. In 2015, he moved to Ontario and studied software engineering at the University of Ottawa. He then worked for a few communications software companies, before eventually starting Trebble.

What is Trebble.FM?

Trebble.FM is a free service that allows users with no technical experience to record byte-size “shortcast” voice messages (aka “capsules”) on Trebble.fm using your smartphone or internet browser. Then, anyone in the world with a voice-activated speaker, such as the Amazon Echo, will be able to listen to you instantly.

Trebble allows you to create a series of short audio recordings or music selections, which can then be personalized with your commentary. Imagine being the DJ of your own smart radio station (i.e. your “trebble”), or sharing your knowledge of a topic in a series of short audio recording (i.e. “capsules”). This is exactly what Trebble allows you to do, without requiring any coding or technical knowledge.

Trebble is currently in beta, but there are plans to release the first version publicly in the summer of 2018. To access the beta version now, see the links below.

How to Setup a Trebble

  • Create a Trebble.FM account.
  • Complete the on-boarding wizard, and choose the name of your station (i.e. your “Trebble”)
  • Record audio directly on your phone or computer, up to 90 seconds in length. Or upload pre-recorded audio.
  • Give these individual recording (i.e. “capsules”) a title, description, and optionally add a URL link.
  • Decide how long the capsule should be on-air.
  • Add as many capsules as you like, which can cover the same or different topics.
  • That’s it! Your Trebble station is now on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant!

The listener can then use Alexa to listen to the capsules.

“Alexa, ask Trebble FM to play news from Alexa in Canada.”
“What can I do with Trebble?”
“Alexa, ask Trebble to play my news.”
“Can you give me suggestions?”

Trebble.FM is looking to grow!

If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Armel through email at armelbeaudry@trebble.fm

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
<![CDATA[Alexa in Canada Six-Month Update #25]]> Tue, 08 May 2018 07:00:24 GMT 18:04 5ae8c3c658cad90c2aeb84f5 no full 1 25 In this episode, Teri describes the milestones and accomplishments at the six-month anniversary of the launch of Alexa in Canada. We cover the highlights of Amazon Alexa news, as well as the Alexa in Canada website, podcast, flash briefing and community.

Happy Six-Month Anniversary!

Today marks the six-month anniversary of the launch of Alexa in Canada blog and so much has happened! Today I cover the milestones and accomplishments of Amazon as well as an update in the Alexa in Canada community, from a consumer perspective.

Amazon Accomplishments!

  • post by Voicebot.AI reports that 7% of people in the US had access to smart speakers after 3 months on the market; compare that with today, 8% of Canadians have access to a smart speaker in less than one year. There is tremendous growth and adoption of this technology.
  • Amazon launched 3 Echo Devices in Canada in December 2017: Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus.
  • Amazon launched the Echo Spot in Canada in April 2018.
  • Amazon is constantly obtaining more market share in the smart speaker sector.
  • Amazon acquired RING, a smart doorbell, to bolster it’s smart home portfolio of products. Look for ongoing developments in this area, particularly with the launch of the Echo Spot in Canada (i.e. you can see on your Spot what your doorbell is seeing).

Alexa Updates

  • Alexa routines in Canada initially were very limited; now they have tremendous functionality. Amazon has done a great job of bringing these features to Canada.
  • Answering consumers’ requests, Amazon brought music alarms to Canada. Alarms can now be set to music through Alexa.
  • The relatively new “Announcements” feature is proving to be very popular.
  • Alexa has, and continues to, become more and more intelligent in short periods of time.

Alexa in Canada – The Six-Month Update!

Alexa in Canada had a great first six months and we accomplished so much together. Here are the highlights.

  • We launched the AlexaInCanada.ca website in November 2017.
  • We created the Complete List of Alexa Commands which includes hundreds and hundreds of commands.
  • We now have reviews of top Alexa Skills in Canada.
  • The Tutorials Page is live, which includes everything from how to setup your Echo device, to how to setup your routines.
  • The Devices page was created to provide recommendations for the best Alexa-controlled devices.
  • The Deals page was created to bring your attention to the best sales and deals on Alexa-related products.
  • Alexa in Canada: The Voice Experience Podcast launch was a great success. We have had thousands of listeners in over 25 different countries. Thanks to everyone that left a review on iTunes! We also joined the VoiceFirst.FM network, and joined a lineup of other excellent voice-first podcasts.
  • I have had the privilege of interviewing some fantastic guests on podcast – thought leaders, influencers, personalities in the Voice-First space.
  • The Voice in Canada Flash Briefing has had an incredibly successful launch, already being listened to tens of thousands of times in over 12 countries. The flash briefing is the #1 rated flash briefing and news skill in the entire Canadian Amazon skills store. Thank you for all your incredible reviews! Flash briefings are “prime real estate” in the voice-first world and here is a tutorial on how you can create your own flash briefing.
  • The Alexa in Canada COMMUNITY Facebook group continues to grow at a rapid rate! We are now approaching 1000 members. There is lots of interaction and people are helping each other on a daily basis. Thank you to everyone for making this such a thriving place to interact with other Canadians Alexa users!
  • Our Instagram account continues to grow as well. Please feel free to follow us on Instagram here (AlexaInCanada).
  • Our Twitter accounts are also growing quickly. This is actually probably the best place to interact with me on a regular basis. Feel free to follow me personally @DrTeriFisher or Alexa in Canada @AlexaInCanadaCA.
  • I am proud to represent Canada at the Voice of Healthcare Summit. To see my upcoming speaking engagements, check out the Speaking Page here.
  • Subscriptions to the website community have been growing at an incredible rate, and our first freebie – a one page cheat sheet to help you determine which Echo device is the best for you – is now available to you when you sign up!

Thank you!

Once again, a special thank you to you, the listeners and supporters of the Alexa in Canada community! These six months have been a wild ride, and we’re just getting started. Stay tuned for some exciting new developments coming up soon!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
In this episode, Teri describes the milestones and accomplishments at the six-month anniversary of the launch of Alexa in Canada. We cover the highlights of Amazon Alexa news, as well as the Alexa in Canada website, podcast, flash briefing and community.

Happy Six-Month Anniversary!

Today marks the six-month anniversary of the launch of Alexa in Canada blog and so much has happened! Today I cover the milestones and accomplishments of Amazon as well as an update in the Alexa in Canada community, from a consumer perspective.

Amazon Accomplishments!

  • post by Voicebot.AI reports that 7% of people in the US had access to smart speakers after 3 months on the market; compare that with today, 8% of Canadians have access to a smart speaker in less than one year. There is tremendous growth and adoption of this technology.
  • Amazon launched 3 Echo Devices in Canada in December 2017: Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus.
  • Amazon launched the Echo Spot in Canada in April 2018.
  • Amazon is constantly obtaining more market share in the smart speaker sector.
  • Amazon acquired RING, a smart doorbell, to bolster it’s smart home portfolio of products. Look for ongoing developments in this area, particularly with the launch of the Echo Spot in Canada (i.e. you can see on your Spot what your doorbell is seeing).

Alexa Updates

  • Alexa routines in Canada initially were very limited; now they have tremendous functionality. Amazon has done a great job of bringing these features to Canada.
  • Answering consumers’ requests, Amazon brought music alarms to Canada. Alarms can now be set to music through Alexa.
  • The relatively new “Announcements” feature is proving to be very popular.
  • Alexa has, and continues to, become more and more intelligent in short periods of time.

Alexa in Canada – The Six-Month Update!

Alexa in Canada had a great first six months and we accomplished so much together. Here are the highlights.

  • We launched the AlexaInCanada.ca website in November 2017.
  • We created the Complete List of Alexa Commands which includes hundreds and hundreds of commands.
  • We now have reviews of top Alexa Skills in Canada.
  • The Tutorials Page is live, which includes everything from how to setup your Echo device, to how to setup your routines.
  • The Devices page was created to provide recommendations for the best Alexa-controlled devices.
  • The Deals page was created to bring your attention to the best sales and deals on Alexa-related products.
  • Alexa in Canada: The Voice Experience Podcast launch was a great success. We have had thousands of listeners in over 25 different countries. Thanks to everyone that left a review on iTunes! We also joined the VoiceFirst.FM network, and joined a lineup of other excellent voice-first podcasts.
  • I have had the privilege of interviewing some fantastic guests on podcast – thought leaders, influencers, personalities in the Voice-First space.
  • The Voice in Canada Flash Briefing has had an incredibly successful launch, already being listened to tens of thousands of times in over 12 countries. The flash briefing is the #1 rated flash briefing and news skill in the entire Canadian Amazon skills store. Thank you for all your incredible reviews! Flash briefings are “prime real estate” in the voice-first world and here is a tutorial on how you can create your own flash briefing.
  • The Alexa in Canada COMMUNITY Facebook group continues to grow at a rapid rate! We are now approaching 1000 members. There is lots of interaction and people are helping each other on a daily basis. Thank you to everyone for making this such a thriving place to interact with other Canadians Alexa users!
  • Our Instagram account continues to grow as well. Please feel free to follow us on Instagram here (AlexaInCanada).
  • Our Twitter accounts are also growing quickly. This is actually probably the best place to interact with me on a regular basis. Feel free to follow me personally @DrTeriFisher or Alexa in Canada @AlexaInCanadaCA.
  • I am proud to represent Canada at the Voice of Healthcare Summit. To see my upcoming speaking engagements, check out the Speaking Page here.
  • Subscriptions to the website community have been growing at an incredible rate, and our first freebie – a one page cheat sheet to help you determine which Echo device is the best for you – is now available to you when you sign up!

Thank you!

Once again, a special thank you to you, the listeners and supporters of the Alexa in Canada community! These six months have been a wild ride, and we’re just getting started. Stay tuned for some exciting new developments coming up soon!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
<![CDATA[Behavioural Changes and Voice with Matt Cybulsky #24]]> Tue, 01 May 2018 07:00:00 GMT 37:19 5ae533246cc266e9455967a3 no full 1 24 In this episode, Teri welcomes Dr. Matt Cybulsky, behavioural economist, and founder and chief consultant of Ionia Behavioral Insights, to talk about behavioural changes and voice first technology, voice first privacy issues, Alexa applications within the Canadian health care system, and the power of motivating human behaviours with emotions routed in voice first technology.

Welcome Dr. Matt Cybulsky!

Matt Cybulsky is a psychologist and behavioural economist, and he has studied persuasion and influence extensively. He now offers his expertise to organizations to help guide behavioural changes through technology and innovation, particularly in the government and healthcare delivery sectors. While blending psychology, decision economics, and social influence to understand human decision-making, he designs choices that impact key decisions in the marketplace. Matt is a sought-after speaker regarding behavioural changes, insights, and healthcare.

It was a pleasure having Dr. Cybulsky on the podcast and we covered a lot of ground. Below you will see a summary of what we discussed.

How can Voice First Technology Help to Change Behaviours?

From the Patient Perspective

  • Voice first technology has created a mechanism whereby a patient can “talk” to a health care provider and the provider can “talk” to a patient/client.
  • Voice first technology allows avenues for a healthcare provider to support the patient (to encourage healthy behaviours, for example).
  • Voice technology can bridge the time that a patient is not actually communicating with their doctor, but still allow for communication.
  • The continuity of this communication replaces the hours out of the year that the patient is not in the presence of their physician.
  • Voice is incredibly powerful, as even recorded voices can give you the extra nudge or encouragement you need to take care of yourself.
  • Human interaction can accelerate healing; this can now be taken into the home.
  • Voice first technology creates community, which encourages positive behavioural changes.
  • Voice can stimulate human emotion, which in itself is an incredible healer.

From the Healthcare Provider Perspective

  • Healthcare providers can document office visits in realtime while examining the patient.
  • The allows the provider to be more focused on the problem at hand.
  • Ultimately, these behavioural changes by the providers translate into better care for the patients/clients.
  • Voice first product creators are the graphic artists of today – e.g. physicians, psychologists, and other healthcare providers.

Examples of Voice First Technology for Healthcare

  • Opiate Addiction Tool: A voice tech product that monitors patients’ pain ratings and encourages them to stop taking pain medication before dependency and/or addiction occurs (i.e. opiates).
  • Medication Compliance Tool: An Alexa skill designed to encourage people to take their medications (or monitor health parameters, such as blood pressure or glucose) by using various types of incentives and motivational techniques.
  • “In-home” Physician: A physician’s voice can “talk” to the patient whenever the patient wants or needs to hear their physician.

How can Voice First Technology Best Motivate Behavioural Changes?

  • It must be a fluid interaction, a part of everyday activities.
  • It must be part of the continuity of life – a part of a “fair day”.
  • There must be minimal (or no) friction to use the technology.
  • Example: A person has to go to a website (i.e. friction), whereas voice first tech could know when you enter a room and initiate a conversation (i.e. minimal friction).
  • Text prompts/notifications can be utilized to encourage users to interact with their voice first technology.
  • Example: A notification may tell a patient to report to Alexa when medications have been taken.
  • Ultimately, consumers will drive this behaviour and determine how many notifications the market will bear, as there is the potential for fatigue.
  • Voice tools may bring us back to more authentic behaviour.
  • We have become buried in our screens; voice will allow us to connect in a way that we may have forgotten.

Privacy and Voice First Technology

  • People give up privacy for convenience, for example speaking on a cell phone, using email, using credit cards, using GPS, using a Google account.
  • The advantages of what the technology gives us outweighs the risk.
  • Throughout history there have been concerns over privacy whenever new technology enters the market.
  • In response to every major threat that has been discovered over time, humans have developed systems to protect ourselves.
  • Dr. Cybulsky does not think that we should be terribly worried about the privacy issue. He does, however, feel that as an involved citizen we should always be critical of what is happening.
  • Ultimately, he has faith in humanity. Well said, Dr. Cybulsky, well said.

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
In this episode, Teri welcomes Dr. Matt Cybulsky, behavioural economist, and founder and chief consultant of Ionia Behavioral Insights, to talk about behavioural changes and voice first technology, voice first privacy issues, Alexa applications within the Canadian health care system, and the power of motivating human behaviours with emotions routed in voice first technology.

Welcome Dr. Matt Cybulsky!

Matt Cybulsky is a psychologist and behavioural economist, and he has studied persuasion and influence extensively. He now offers his expertise to organizations to help guide behavioural changes through technology and innovation, particularly in the government and healthcare delivery sectors. While blending psychology, decision economics, and social influence to understand human decision-making, he designs choices that impact key decisions in the marketplace. Matt is a sought-after speaker regarding behavioural changes, insights, and healthcare.

It was a pleasure having Dr. Cybulsky on the podcast and we covered a lot of ground. Below you will see a summary of what we discussed.

How can Voice First Technology Help to Change Behaviours?

From the Patient Perspective

  • Voice first technology has created a mechanism whereby a patient can “talk” to a health care provider and the provider can “talk” to a patient/client.
  • Voice first technology allows avenues for a healthcare provider to support the patient (to encourage healthy behaviours, for example).
  • Voice technology can bridge the time that a patient is not actually communicating with their doctor, but still allow for communication.
  • The continuity of this communication replaces the hours out of the year that the patient is not in the presence of their physician.
  • Voice is incredibly powerful, as even recorded voices can give you the extra nudge or encouragement you need to take care of yourself.
  • Human interaction can accelerate healing; this can now be taken into the home.
  • Voice first technology creates community, which encourages positive behavioural changes.
  • Voice can stimulate human emotion, which in itself is an incredible healer.

From the Healthcare Provider Perspective

  • Healthcare providers can document office visits in realtime while examining the patient.
  • The allows the provider to be more focused on the problem at hand.
  • Ultimately, these behavioural changes by the providers translate into better care for the patients/clients.
  • Voice first product creators are the graphic artists of today – e.g. physicians, psychologists, and other healthcare providers.

Examples of Voice First Technology for Healthcare

  • Opiate Addiction Tool: A voice tech product that monitors patients’ pain ratings and encourages them to stop taking pain medication before dependency and/or addiction occurs (i.e. opiates).
  • Medication Compliance Tool: An Alexa skill designed to encourage people to take their medications (or monitor health parameters, such as blood pressure or glucose) by using various types of incentives and motivational techniques.
  • “In-home” Physician: A physician’s voice can “talk” to the patient whenever the patient wants or needs to hear their physician.

How can Voice First Technology Best Motivate Behavioural Changes?

  • It must be a fluid interaction, a part of everyday activities.
  • It must be part of the continuity of life – a part of a “fair day”.
  • There must be minimal (or no) friction to use the technology.
  • Example: A person has to go to a website (i.e. friction), whereas voice first tech could know when you enter a room and initiate a conversation (i.e. minimal friction).
  • Text prompts/notifications can be utilized to encourage users to interact with their voice first technology.
  • Example: A notification may tell a patient to report to Alexa when medications have been taken.
  • Ultimately, consumers will drive this behaviour and determine how many notifications the market will bear, as there is the potential for fatigue.
  • Voice tools may bring us back to more authentic behaviour.
  • We have become buried in our screens; voice will allow us to connect in a way that we may have forgotten.

Privacy and Voice First Technology

  • People give up privacy for convenience, for example speaking on a cell phone, using email, using credit cards, using GPS, using a Google account.
  • The advantages of what the technology gives us outweighs the risk.
  • Throughout history there have been concerns over privacy whenever new technology enters the market.
  • In response to every major threat that has been discovered over time, humans have developed systems to protect ourselves.
  • Dr. Cybulsky does not think that we should be terribly worried about the privacy issue. He does, however, feel that as an involved citizen we should always be critical of what is happening.
  • Ultimately, he has faith in humanity. Well said, Dr. Cybulsky, well said.

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
<![CDATA[Voice Technology Marketing with Doug Schumacher #23]]> Tue, 24 Apr 2018 07:00:00 GMT 36:46 5ad6c4cb32e76aa35a18db82 no full 1 23 In this episode, Teri welcomes Doug Schumacher, Co-founder, Content Strategist, and Advertising Creative Director at Zuum, and Writer and Producer of the podcast, Homie & Lexy, to talk about marketing trends in the voice-first technology world.

Welcome Doug Schumacher!

Doug Schumacher is a marketing guru. He has extensive experience in radio, advertising copy-writing, new media marketing, and is a leader in voice-first technology marketing strategies. He comes on the show today to discuss the future of marketing for voice, and using voice for marketing.

We covered a lot of ground in this interview, and below you’ll find a summary of the key take-home messages.

How to Market A Voice-First Product

  • Start by identifying your target audience and the competitive landscape
  • Determine your product’s/service’s distinct advantages
  • Consider creating broad, high-level branding messages on multiple channels (i.e. podcasts, flash briefings, voice skills, etc.)
  • In the new market of voice-first technologies, there are some specific challenges that must be considered:
  • Discoverability – how will your product be discovered?
  • Location – Where will the product/device be located? (i.e. home, mobile, car?)
  • Timing – When is the best time to target your audience? (e.g. when people are in their kitchen in the evening, preparing dinner?)
  • Call to Action – As voice tends to be a linear 1-dimensional experience, without easy access to a website, where will you direct your customers/clients?

How to Use Voice First Technology for Marketing

  • Start with a simple voice strategy, a voice experience that is essentially a minimum viable product
  • The key is to actually take action and enter the voice-first space now
  • Voice-first marketing offers an opportunity for brands to personalized themselves so clients and customers can engage with the organization in a more intimate way
  • Flash briefings are prime real estate, equivalent to the front page of google
  • The end of flash briefings are excellent “locations” to promote specific skills, making for a more streamlined approach to discoverability.

Differences in Voice First Marketing compared to other Mediums

  • Voice-first technology is a very fluid, natural interface
  • Invoking a voice app is very simple, and allows for a more streamlined experience (compared to finding a podcast on a phone app, for example)
  • With voice-first technology marketing materials, you are not confined to a specific time slot or time frame (compared to a specified 30 second radio commercial, for example)

Social Media and Voice First Technology

  • Voice-first technology is the “anti-social” media, as there are NOT a million people talking at once!
  • Currently, it’s not easy to share voice skills
  • This will likely change over time

Homie & Lexy Podcast/Skill

Practising what he preaches, Doug has created a tremendously funny and entertaining podcast, Homie & Lexy.

Homie & Lexy is a podcast that documents the adventures of 2 AI voicebots, Google Home (AKA Homie) and Amazon Alexa (AKA Lexy) residing in the same house. When their owners step out, the voicebots discuss the perplexing human world around them.

We are very fortunate to have Lexy making her debut live appearance on this episode of Alexa in Canada! Make sure to listen to her interview and found out what Lexy really thinks about being an AI voicebot!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
In this episode, Teri welcomes Doug Schumacher, Co-founder, Content Strategist, and Advertising Creative Director at Zuum, and Writer and Producer of the podcast, Homie & Lexy, to talk about marketing trends in the voice-first technology world.

Welcome Doug Schumacher!

Doug Schumacher is a marketing guru. He has extensive experience in radio, advertising copy-writing, new media marketing, and is a leader in voice-first technology marketing strategies. He comes on the show today to discuss the future of marketing for voice, and using voice for marketing.

We covered a lot of ground in this interview, and below you’ll find a summary of the key take-home messages.

How to Market A Voice-First Product

  • Start by identifying your target audience and the competitive landscape
  • Determine your product’s/service’s distinct advantages
  • Consider creating broad, high-level branding messages on multiple channels (i.e. podcasts, flash briefings, voice skills, etc.)
  • In the new market of voice-first technologies, there are some specific challenges that must be considered:
  • Discoverability – how will your product be discovered?
  • Location – Where will the product/device be located? (i.e. home, mobile, car?)
  • Timing – When is the best time to target your audience? (e.g. when people are in their kitchen in the evening, preparing dinner?)
  • Call to Action – As voice tends to be a linear 1-dimensional experience, without easy access to a website, where will you direct your customers/clients?

How to Use Voice First Technology for Marketing

  • Start with a simple voice strategy, a voice experience that is essentially a minimum viable product
  • The key is to actually take action and enter the voice-first space now
  • Voice-first marketing offers an opportunity for brands to personalized themselves so clients and customers can engage with the organization in a more intimate way
  • Flash briefings are prime real estate, equivalent to the front page of google
  • The end of flash briefings are excellent “locations” to promote specific skills, making for a more streamlined approach to discoverability.

Differences in Voice First Marketing compared to other Mediums

  • Voice-first technology is a very fluid, natural interface
  • Invoking a voice app is very simple, and allows for a more streamlined experience (compared to finding a podcast on a phone app, for example)
  • With voice-first technology marketing materials, you are not confined to a specific time slot or time frame (compared to a specified 30 second radio commercial, for example)

Social Media and Voice First Technology

  • Voice-first technology is the “anti-social” media, as there are NOT a million people talking at once!
  • Currently, it’s not easy to share voice skills
  • This will likely change over time

Homie & Lexy Podcast/Skill

Practising what he preaches, Doug has created a tremendously funny and entertaining podcast, Homie & Lexy.

Homie & Lexy is a podcast that documents the adventures of 2 AI voicebots, Google Home (AKA Homie) and Amazon Alexa (AKA Lexy) residing in the same house. When their owners step out, the voicebots discuss the perplexing human world around them.

We are very fortunate to have Lexy making her debut live appearance on this episode of Alexa in Canada! Make sure to listen to her interview and found out what Lexy really thinks about being an AI voicebot!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
<![CDATA[Voice User Interface Design with Ilana Shalowitz #22]]> Tue, 17 Apr 2018 07:00:00 GMT 32:50 5ad3cf1bc5846a343fe732a7 no full 1 22 In this episode, Teri welcomes Ilana Shalowitz, Voice User Interface (VUI) Design Manager at Emmi, to talk about the tips and tricks that go into creating a quality voice skill or application.

Welcome Ilana Shalowitz from Emmi!

Ilana Shalowitz is the Voice User Interface (VUI) Design Manager at Emmi. She is a well-respected authority and influencer in the voice-first design technology space, having appeared on a number of podcasts, and having spoken at a number of voice-first events. She will be a keynote speaker at the Voice of Healthcare Summit at Harvard Medical School in August 2018. She joins me today to talk about some of the key principles to consider when designing a voice-first experience.

Ilana has a strong interest in communication for behaviour change. She initially studied anthropology and psychology, and then got a Masters in Marketing Communications. After working in marketing, she found a passion for design and now loves her work as a voice user interface designer!

How to Design a Voice-first User Experience

  • Recommended reading: Designing Voice User Interfaces by Cathy Pearl, and Voice User Interface Design by James P. Giangola and Jennifer Balogh
  • Research before getting started! “Understand the lay of the land”
  • Start playing around with Alexa skills in tools such as Storyline
  • Listen to conversations with an ear for how people speak to each other, to determine what makes a good audio experience.
  • Listen to recorded books on Librivox – a site where anyone can record books that are released into the public domain – to critically analyze the voice experiences to think about what would make them better experiences
  • Talk to people about your voice application, both about the idea itself (i.e. the strategic direction) and to test the conversation itself (i.e. Wizard of Oz testing)
  • Remember designing a voice user interface experience is a lot like creating art or composing music; a “tapestry” of appropriate statements “woven” together.
  • Consider how to build rapport with the user: consider your brand persona, set appropriate expectations, use the names of the users, be consistent in the way information is delivered, and develop trust.

Important Concepts to consider in Voice User Interface Design

  • Entities – important nuggets of information that someone is trying to portray (i.e. ‘Boston’ is the important entity in the statement, “I would like to book a trip to Boston.”)
  • Cognitive Load – how effortful is it for the user to understand the particular question and to answer it.
  • Listenability – how easy is it for someone to comprehend the voice experience.

Common Mistakes in Voice User Interface Design

  • Not doing user research before creating the skill.
  • Overpromising and underdelivering.

How to get Started in Voice User Interface Design as a Career

  • Join the voice user interface design community: read the latest news article, and connect with people in the community/industry
  • Emphasize your diversity and interdisciplinary background; these are great for VUI design!
  • Develop a skill of your own

Healthcare and Voice

  • Voice is at the intersection of population health and personalized medicine.
  • This is a very exciting frontier for health care over the next few years.

Thank you Ilana!

Thank you very much for sharing your expertise and knowledge with us. I learned so much and I look forward to putting these tips into practise!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
In this episode, Teri welcomes Ilana Shalowitz, Voice User Interface (VUI) Design Manager at Emmi, to talk about the tips and tricks that go into creating a quality voice skill or application.

Welcome Ilana Shalowitz from Emmi!

Ilana Shalowitz is the Voice User Interface (VUI) Design Manager at Emmi. She is a well-respected authority and influencer in the voice-first design technology space, having appeared on a number of podcasts, and having spoken at a number of voice-first events. She will be a keynote speaker at the Voice of Healthcare Summit at Harvard Medical School in August 2018. She joins me today to talk about some of the key principles to consider when designing a voice-first experience.

Ilana has a strong interest in communication for behaviour change. She initially studied anthropology and psychology, and then got a Masters in Marketing Communications. After working in marketing, she found a passion for design and now loves her work as a voice user interface designer!

How to Design a Voice-first User Experience

  • Recommended reading: Designing Voice User Interfaces by Cathy Pearl, and Voice User Interface Design by James P. Giangola and Jennifer Balogh
  • Research before getting started! “Understand the lay of the land”
  • Start playing around with Alexa skills in tools such as Storyline
  • Listen to conversations with an ear for how people speak to each other, to determine what makes a good audio experience.
  • Listen to recorded books on Librivox – a site where anyone can record books that are released into the public domain – to critically analyze the voice experiences to think about what would make them better experiences
  • Talk to people about your voice application, both about the idea itself (i.e. the strategic direction) and to test the conversation itself (i.e. Wizard of Oz testing)
  • Remember designing a voice user interface experience is a lot like creating art or composing music; a “tapestry” of appropriate statements “woven” together.
  • Consider how to build rapport with the user: consider your brand persona, set appropriate expectations, use the names of the users, be consistent in the way information is delivered, and develop trust.

Important Concepts to consider in Voice User Interface Design

  • Entities – important nuggets of information that someone is trying to portray (i.e. ‘Boston’ is the important entity in the statement, “I would like to book a trip to Boston.”)
  • Cognitive Load – how effortful is it for the user to understand the particular question and to answer it.
  • Listenability – how easy is it for someone to comprehend the voice experience.

Common Mistakes in Voice User Interface Design

  • Not doing user research before creating the skill.
  • Overpromising and underdelivering.

How to get Started in Voice User Interface Design as a Career

  • Join the voice user interface design community: read the latest news article, and connect with people in the community/industry
  • Emphasize your diversity and interdisciplinary background; these are great for VUI design!
  • Develop a skill of your own

Healthcare and Voice

  • Voice is at the intersection of population health and personalized medicine.
  • This is a very exciting frontier for health care over the next few years.

Thank you Ilana!

Thank you very much for sharing your expertise and knowledge with us. I learned so much and I look forward to putting these tips into practise!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
<![CDATA[Storyline with Vasili Shynkarenka #21]]> Tue, 10 Apr 2018 07:00:00 GMT 40:13 5abe4d573d5cbd55401630c5 no full 1 21 In this episode, Teri welcomes Vasili Shynkarenka, Co-Founder and CEO of Storyline, to talk about his new platform that allows anyone to make Alexa skills without any coding!



Welcome Vasili Shynkarenka from Storyline!

Vasili Shynkarenka in the co-founder and CEO of Storyline, a platform that allows you to create skills for Amazon Alexa in the most simple way, without requiring any knowledge of how to code. If you can type, drag and drop, and most importantly, come up with a good idea, you too can create a successful Alexa skill with Storyline!

Vasili’s background is in computer science and marketing. He previously worked in voice design for 3 years, designing conversational interfaces for various brands and businesses.



Key Points Discussed on the Podcast

We covered a lot of ground in this interview with Vasili. Here are some of the key points that we discussed:

  • Storyline is a tool that allows anyone to create a skill for Amazon Alexa without writing any code. It is a visual interface, designed to be incredibly user-friendly.
  • Storyline launched Sept 2017
  • Non-technical people as very good at building excellent and engaging Alexa skills.
  • A good idea is more important than the ability to code when it comes to building Alexa skills.
  • Alexa is more similar to YouTube than an iPhone app.
  • Children are able to dive right in and create excellent skills for the first time (as opposed to other technologies).
  • There are currently 550 skills live that were built on Storyline
  • Storyline users range from age 7-87 years old
  • Storyline allows users to update content in real time without having to submit a skill for recertification with Amazon
  • Skill discovery is still a major challenge for the average users

Kids Court, by Adva Levin (Pretzel Labs)

  • Completely created in Storyline
  • Won the Global Alexa kids Challenge!
  • Kids Court is a relatively technically easy skill to create, but the concept is very unique and engaging.

Tips for Creating a Good Skill

  • Create skills tend built around daily habits; e.g. soundscape skills and news
  • Choose a relevant invocation name (i.e. command to use/open the skill)
  • Regularly update your content
  • Create a repetitive experience – something that will encourage users to return to the skill

Recent Storyline Features

  • You can now add long audio files and livestream audio in your skills
  • This allows for interactive radio: Alexa can start live streaming your audio, but you can also add commands that users could say during the livestream.
  • Alexa now supports pre-built variables; you can use these for all types of information.
  • For example, you can have Alexa learn a user’s name and Alexa can use that in the course of the experience
  • You can now store phone number in skills through Alexa, which are stored on the Amazon server. These would be accessible only by the developer. The users would be able to unsubscribe if wanted.
  • The ability to cross-promote skills built on Alexa will help with skill discovery

The Future of Storyline

  • An initial goal is to increase the number of skills in the Skill store
  • Eventually Storyline will be published to other platforms, such as Google Home

Thank you Vasili!

Thank you for sharing your information, experience, and incredible product with all of us! I look forward to watch how Storyline evolves over time!



List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
In this episode, Teri welcomes Vasili Shynkarenka, Co-Founder and CEO of Storyline, to talk about his new platform that allows anyone to make Alexa skills without any coding!



Welcome Vasili Shynkarenka from Storyline!

Vasili Shynkarenka in the co-founder and CEO of Storyline, a platform that allows you to create skills for Amazon Alexa in the most simple way, without requiring any knowledge of how to code. If you can type, drag and drop, and most importantly, come up with a good idea, you too can create a successful Alexa skill with Storyline!

Vasili’s background is in computer science and marketing. He previously worked in voice design for 3 years, designing conversational interfaces for various brands and businesses.



Key Points Discussed on the Podcast

We covered a lot of ground in this interview with Vasili. Here are some of the key points that we discussed:

  • Storyline is a tool that allows anyone to create a skill for Amazon Alexa without writing any code. It is a visual interface, designed to be incredibly user-friendly.
  • Storyline launched Sept 2017
  • Non-technical people as very good at building excellent and engaging Alexa skills.
  • A good idea is more important than the ability to code when it comes to building Alexa skills.
  • Alexa is more similar to YouTube than an iPhone app.
  • Children are able to dive right in and create excellent skills for the first time (as opposed to other technologies).
  • There are currently 550 skills live that were built on Storyline
  • Storyline users range from age 7-87 years old
  • Storyline allows users to update content in real time without having to submit a skill for recertification with Amazon
  • Skill discovery is still a major challenge for the average users

Kids Court, by Adva Levin (Pretzel Labs)

  • Completely created in Storyline
  • Won the Global Alexa kids Challenge!
  • Kids Court is a relatively technically easy skill to create, but the concept is very unique and engaging.

Tips for Creating a Good Skill

  • Create skills tend built around daily habits; e.g. soundscape skills and news
  • Choose a relevant invocation name (i.e. command to use/open the skill)
  • Regularly update your content
  • Create a repetitive experience – something that will encourage users to return to the skill

Recent Storyline Features

  • You can now add long audio files and livestream audio in your skills
  • This allows for interactive radio: Alexa can start live streaming your audio, but you can also add commands that users could say during the livestream.
  • Alexa now supports pre-built variables; you can use these for all types of information.
  • For example, you can have Alexa learn a user’s name and Alexa can use that in the course of the experience
  • You can now store phone number in skills through Alexa, which are stored on the Amazon server. These would be accessible only by the developer. The users would be able to unsubscribe if wanted.
  • The ability to cross-promote skills built on Alexa will help with skill discovery

The Future of Storyline

  • An initial goal is to increase the number of skills in the Skill store
  • Eventually Storyline will be published to other platforms, such as Google Home

Thank you Vasili!

Thank you for sharing your information, experience, and incredible product with all of us! I look forward to watch how Storyline evolves over time!



List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
<![CDATA[Accessibility and Alexa with Robin Christopherson #20]]> Tue, 03 Apr 2018 07:00:00 GMT 31:13 5ab8170fbb6ddf45527e0795 no full 1 20 In this episode Teri welcomes Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet, to talk about accessibility of voice-first technologies and his experience as a blind person using Amazon Alexa.

Welcome Robin Christopherson!

Robin Christopherson is Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet, the globally-acclaimed accessibility and tech charitable organization in England. AbilityNet is a pan-disability charity organization that promotes the use of technology to empower people with all types of disabilities. Robin himself is blind and he joins us today to speak about his experience with Amazon Alexa and the benefits of voice-first technology for those with disabilities.

Robin is a sought-after speaker, and has won numerous awards for his work in inclusion and accessibility, including the MBE – Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He produces the daily podcast, Dot to Dot, where he reviews Alexa skills.

Robin’s Key Points about Technology, Accessibility, and Alexa

  • Robin is blind and his visual impairment was gradually progressive from birth. He lost his remaining vision in his late teens and has used technology to help him with his daily activities over the last 20-30 years.
  • There is a huge amount of excitement and enthusiasm about voice assistants within the areas of inclusion and accessibility. Voice tech will help people with all types of disabilities, from cognitive, to visual, to hearing, to many others.
  • Voice speakers are the ultimate evolution in the computer interface. Voice is the most natural version of communication.
  • Robin received his first Echo Dot for his birthday approximately 1.5 years ago and he loves it! He uses numerous commands and skills to help him with his daily organization and activities.
  • Alexa allows for more accessible environmental control in a mainstream, affordable device. The low cost of entry to using Amazon Alexa is one of the reasons that the adoption rate of these devices has been so high.
  • Robin finds that the most useful skills and commands for visually impaired people include calendar functions, scheduling, timers, entertainment skills, and the ability to ask general queries in natural spoken language.
  • We are beginning to see a world of increasing ambient computing – where one simply talks to the air around him/herself and there are computers all around that are able to respond in an appropriate and relevant manner.
  • One of the greatest benefits of Amazon Alexa, compared to other digital assistants, is the fact that Alexa has been built from the ground up with an emphasis on voice-first technology. On the other hand for example, while Siri currently is activated by voice, it relies heavily on a screen to deliver content.
  • While recognizing that some people have concerns around privacy and security, Robin is not particularly anxious about these issues around these devices. He feels that we are living in the age of the ‘wild-west’ of the internet, but that the digital assistants are no different than any other websites or devices currently available. Having said that, he does not necessarily recommend putting a device with a camera in the bedroom!

Dot To Dot

Robin has a daily podcast, Dot to Dot, where he highlights one or more skills each day. The podcast is aimed towards all people (not just those with visual impairment). Robin occasionally talks about new features or skills that are available to Amazon Alexa users. Make sure to check it out here.

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
In this episode Teri welcomes Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet, to talk about accessibility of voice-first technologies and his experience as a blind person using Amazon Alexa.

Welcome Robin Christopherson!

Robin Christopherson is Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet, the globally-acclaimed accessibility and tech charitable organization in England. AbilityNet is a pan-disability charity organization that promotes the use of technology to empower people with all types of disabilities. Robin himself is blind and he joins us today to speak about his experience with Amazon Alexa and the benefits of voice-first technology for those with disabilities.

Robin is a sought-after speaker, and has won numerous awards for his work in inclusion and accessibility, including the MBE – Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He produces the daily podcast, Dot to Dot, where he reviews Alexa skills.

Robin’s Key Points about Technology, Accessibility, and Alexa

  • Robin is blind and his visual impairment was gradually progressive from birth. He lost his remaining vision in his late teens and has used technology to help him with his daily activities over the last 20-30 years.
  • There is a huge amount of excitement and enthusiasm about voice assistants within the areas of inclusion and accessibility. Voice tech will help people with all types of disabilities, from cognitive, to visual, to hearing, to many others.
  • Voice speakers are the ultimate evolution in the computer interface. Voice is the most natural version of communication.
  • Robin received his first Echo Dot for his birthday approximately 1.5 years ago and he loves it! He uses numerous commands and skills to help him with his daily organization and activities.
  • Alexa allows for more accessible environmental control in a mainstream, affordable device. The low cost of entry to using Amazon Alexa is one of the reasons that the adoption rate of these devices has been so high.
  • Robin finds that the most useful skills and commands for visually impaired people include calendar functions, scheduling, timers, entertainment skills, and the ability to ask general queries in natural spoken language.
  • We are beginning to see a world of increasing ambient computing – where one simply talks to the air around him/herself and there are computers all around that are able to respond in an appropriate and relevant manner.
  • One of the greatest benefits of Amazon Alexa, compared to other digital assistants, is the fact that Alexa has been built from the ground up with an emphasis on voice-first technology. On the other hand for example, while Siri currently is activated by voice, it relies heavily on a screen to deliver content.
  • While recognizing that some people have concerns around privacy and security, Robin is not particularly anxious about these issues around these devices. He feels that we are living in the age of the ‘wild-west’ of the internet, but that the digital assistants are no different than any other websites or devices currently available. Having said that, he does not necessarily recommend putting a device with a camera in the bedroom!

Dot To Dot

Robin has a daily podcast, Dot to Dot, where he highlights one or more skills each day. The podcast is aimed towards all people (not just those with visual impairment). Robin occasionally talks about new features or skills that are available to Amazon Alexa users. Make sure to check it out here.

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


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<![CDATA[IFTTT and Amazon Alexa #19]]> Tue, 27 Mar 2018 07:00:00 GMT 13:32 5ab17397627e02027cf860c3 no full 1 19 In this episode, Teri discusses how to use IFTTT and Amazon Alexa together to open the door to even more functionality with your Amazon Echo device.

IFTTT and Amazon Alexa

IFTTT stands for IF This, Then That! This is an app that allows you to integrate different services to increase the functionality of each of the services. This includes hundreds of different services – everything from email to social media, calendars to smart home products, and of course ALEXA, among many, many others!

IFTTT is based on “Applets” or “Recipes” – these are essentially simple logic commands that cause one service to trigger an action in another service. For example, having a timer go off on Alexa (i.e. the trigger) can cause a light to go on elsewhere (i.e. the action). Or adding something to your to-do list on Alexa (i.e. the trigger) can cause the item to be emailed to your inbox (i.e. the action). There are literally thousands of IFTTT applets that can be developed.

Now here is the caveat: As us Canadians know all too well, some of the functionality is not available in Canada while it is available in the States. Nevertheless, there is still a lot that we can do with IFTTT and Amazon Alexa in Canada.

How to you use Pre-Built applets for IFTTT and Amazon Alexa?

  1. Create a free account at IFTTT.
  2. Search for “Amazon Alexa.”
  3. Provide your Amazon account credentials.
  4. Select an Applet that is already created and then activate it (you will need to enter the credentials for any other service you want to use).

How to Create your Own Applet for IFTTT and Amazon Alexa?

  1. Create a free account at IFTTT.
  2. Click on your username.
  3. Click on New Applet.
  4. Click on “+ this” (i.e. the trigger) in the middle of the screen.
  5. Search for “Amazon Alexa.”
  6. Provide your Amazon account credentials.
  7. Choose a trigger from among the provided list:
  • Say a specific phrase
  • Ask what’s on your To Do List
  • Item added to your To Do List
  • Item completed on your To Do List
  • Item edited on your To Do List
  • Item deleted on your To Do List
  • Ask what’s on your Shopping List
  • Item added to your Shopping List
  • Item completed on your Shopping List
  • Item edited on your Shopping List
  • Item deleted on your Shopping List
  • Ask for a sports team’s score
  • Ask for a sports team’s next game
  • New song played
  • Your alarm goes off
  • Your timer goes off
  1. Click on “+ that” (i.e. the action) in the middle of the screen.
  2. Search for the action service you want to use (e.g. Kasa app) and click on the icon.
  3. Choose a specific action (these options will depend on the specific service you have selected)
  4. Now your Alexa trigger is set to cause an action on the particular service you selected!

Now what?

Have fun! Experiment with different IFTTT Applets and see what you come up with! And make sure to comment below if you find an applet that is really creative, unique, or useful. I look forward to seeing what you do with IFTTT and Amazon Alexa!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
In this episode, Teri discusses how to use IFTTT and Amazon Alexa together to open the door to even more functionality with your Amazon Echo device.

IFTTT and Amazon Alexa

IFTTT stands for IF This, Then That! This is an app that allows you to integrate different services to increase the functionality of each of the services. This includes hundreds of different services – everything from email to social media, calendars to smart home products, and of course ALEXA, among many, many others!

IFTTT is based on “Applets” or “Recipes” – these are essentially simple logic commands that cause one service to trigger an action in another service. For example, having a timer go off on Alexa (i.e. the trigger) can cause a light to go on elsewhere (i.e. the action). Or adding something to your to-do list on Alexa (i.e. the trigger) can cause the item to be emailed to your inbox (i.e. the action). There are literally thousands of IFTTT applets that can be developed.

Now here is the caveat: As us Canadians know all too well, some of the functionality is not available in Canada while it is available in the States. Nevertheless, there is still a lot that we can do with IFTTT and Amazon Alexa in Canada.

How to you use Pre-Built applets for IFTTT and Amazon Alexa?

  1. Create a free account at IFTTT.
  2. Search for “Amazon Alexa.”
  3. Provide your Amazon account credentials.
  4. Select an Applet that is already created and then activate it (you will need to enter the credentials for any other service you want to use).

How to Create your Own Applet for IFTTT and Amazon Alexa?

  1. Create a free account at IFTTT.
  2. Click on your username.
  3. Click on New Applet.
  4. Click on “+ this” (i.e. the trigger) in the middle of the screen.
  5. Search for “Amazon Alexa.”
  6. Provide your Amazon account credentials.
  7. Choose a trigger from among the provided list:
  • Say a specific phrase
  • Ask what’s on your To Do List
  • Item added to your To Do List
  • Item completed on your To Do List
  • Item edited on your To Do List
  • Item deleted on your To Do List
  • Ask what’s on your Shopping List
  • Item added to your Shopping List
  • Item completed on your Shopping List
  • Item edited on your Shopping List
  • Item deleted on your Shopping List
  • Ask for a sports team’s score
  • Ask for a sports team’s next game
  • New song played
  • Your alarm goes off
  • Your timer goes off
  1. Click on “+ that” (i.e. the action) in the middle of the screen.
  2. Search for the action service you want to use (e.g. Kasa app) and click on the icon.
  3. Choose a specific action (these options will depend on the specific service you have selected)
  4. Now your Alexa trigger is set to cause an action on the particular service you selected!

Now what?

Have fun! Experiment with different IFTTT Applets and see what you come up with! And make sure to comment below if you find an applet that is really creative, unique, or useful. I look forward to seeing what you do with IFTTT and Amazon Alexa!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
<![CDATA[How to Create a Flash Briefing #18]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 07:00:00 GMT 22:45 5ab081d58c2a521341faccda no full 1 18 Wondering how to create a flash briefing? Whether you want to promote your business, share your hobby, or raise awareness for your non-profit, now is the time to create a flash briefing. In this episode, Teri reveals the step by step instructions on how to create a flash briefing for Amazon Alexa… with no coding required!




Create a Flash Briefing

Flash briefings are the new podcasts… as least as far as I am concerned! If you are interested in getting your message out to the world, in my opinion there is simply no better way than to create a flash briefing. In my experience, good quality flash briefings are being consumed at a rate equal to or greater than that of podcasts. For example, 4 months after launching the Alexa in Canada Podcast, I was getting approximately 200 people listening to each episode on the day it was released (and less on the other days of the week). Compare that to the Voice in Canada Flash Briefing: after only 2 weeks, I was already getting 300 listeners every single day!

When it comes to audio content, flash briefings are the new frontier. This is the next big thing in audio, so my suggestion is don’t wait any longer – go create a flash briefing now!

Whether you want to promote your business, share your passion for a hobby, or raise awareness for your non-profit organization, now is the time to create a flash briefing. Below I outline the simple steps on how to create a flash briefing that anyone can follow. And there is no coding required!!



Step 1: Decide on Your Topic

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but before you begin to create a flash briefing it is really important to think carefully about your topic, and what you will be talking about. The most successful flash briefings are the ones that consistently put out great content. You have to be willing to commit to create a flash briefing episode on a daily basis. So, make sure that you have enough to say about your topic to make a daily show that is engaging, exciting, and valuable for your audience.

Can you imagine yourself doing this 365 days from now and still going strong with fresh ideas? Think about your general topic and then brainstorm (and write down!) at least 30 individual episode topics for your show. To help you out, here are a couple of subtopics to get the creative juices flowing: news, reviews, tips, tricks, deals, scores, updates, seasonal items…. the list really goes on and on, limited only by your imagination.



Step 2: Record an Episode (or a few!)

Are you cut out for this? Well, before you dive into setting up your Flash Briefing hosting service and your Amazon Developer account (don’t worry, both are really easy to setup!), try recording an episode for your first Flash Briefing and see how you like it. You could just use your mobile phone and get going, but keep in mind that the higher quality the audio, the more polished and professional your show will be!

Here is the audio equipment that I recommend. It’s relatively inexpensive and works great! It is excellent value for the money and this is what I used (and still use!) to create my top-rated Flash Briefing:

  1. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB/XLR Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
  2. NEEWER Adjustable Microphone Suspension Stand
  3. On Stage MY420 Studio Microphone Shock Mount
  4. Dragonpad Pop Filter Studio Microphone Wind Screen 

So, consider using some good audio equipment and a program such at GarageBand or Audacity for the recordings. Once you decide how you will record the episodes, go ahead, push record, and create your first flash briefing episode! Even better, get ahead of schedule and pre-record a week’s worth of episodes.

Also, keep in mind a few key points:

  • Make your flash briefing episodes short. I suggest keeping your audio files under a few minutes. I aim for approximately 2 minutes with each of my episodes.
  • The main purpose of each audio episode should be to provide informative and entertaining content to your listeners. Try to avoid advertising, plugs, or promotions.
  • Use high-quality audio formats. Amazon suggests using the MP3 format with a bit rate of at least 256kbps (this is a setting you choose when exporting your file from your recording software).
  • Make sure your audio is free of distracting background or other noises.
  • And finally, try to keep a consistent volume within each episode and between episodes.

Step 3: Decide Where you Will Host your Audio Files

So you got your first recording under your belt! Awesome job. That’s the first big step to create a flash briefing. Now what? Well, we need a place to upload those audio files so that when listeners ask Alexa for your flash briefing, she has a reliable, simple place to find them.

There are lots of ways to host your audio files, some more complicated than others, but I promised that this would be simple and coding-free, didn’t I?! Over the years, I have tried a number of audio hosting services and I now highly recommend Pippa.io. This is because they have made it extremely easy to setup a flash briefing, particularly because there is no coding or programming required. Simon Marcus, the CEO of Pippa.io, joined me on my podcast to discuss Pippa.io and how he, his team, and I developed the flash briefing feature in consultation with each other.

Note that in the spirit of full transparency, I am an affiliate for Pippa.io because I believe they offer such an incredible service. If you choose to use them, make sure to use the coupon code “alexaincanada” (without the quotes) to get a free month of serviceClick here to go to Pippa.io

Regardless of who you choose to host your audio, make sure that the host can provide a publicly-accessible RSS or JSON feed, secured with an https URL. Pippa does this all automatically!

Once you have setup your audio host, follow their instructions to create a flash briefing show and upload your audio files.



Step 4: Register as an Amazon Developer

The next step to create a flash briefing is to signup for an Amazon Developer account. This is completely free, but it is absolutely required. This is where you will submit your flash briefing to Amazon so Alexa knows that your show exists. Go to https://developer.amazon.com/login.html and create a free account.



Step 5: Create a New Skill in the Developer Console Beta

Once you have your developer account setup, it’s time to create a flash briefing skill. Go to the Alexa Skills Kit Developer Console at https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/console/ask and then follow along with these instructions:

  1. Click on Create Skill.
  2. Enter the Name for your skill. This name will be seen by users in the Alexa App. Make sure this name does not imply sponsorship by Amazon, or infringe on the copyright, trademark and publicity rights of a third party. Click Next.
  3. In the Language drop-down, choose the language for your skill. A Flash Briefing skill targets a single language and you cannot change the language once you select it. To create a flash briefing for the Canada Amazon store, (i.e. Amazon.ca) choose English (CA). To create a flash briefing in the American Amazon Skill Store (i.e. Amazon.com), choose English (US). Likewise, if you want your flash briefing in another country, choose the appropriate language.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Select the Flash Briefing Pre-Built model.
  6. Finally, click Create Skill. This will automatically take you to the Build tab (seen at the top left of the screen).

Step 6: Set up an Error Message

Enter a Custom Error Message. Alexa says this message to the user if there are any problems retrieving the flash briefing for some reason. Hopefully, your audience will never hear this! Just type something like, for example, “Voice in Canada is not available at the moment.” There is a 100 character maximum for this phrase. Make sure this message is in the language you chose for your skill. This means if you are creating an English Flash Briefing, your error message should be in English.



Step 7: Add One or More Flash Briefing Feed(s)

When you create a flash briefing skill, you have the option to setup multiple feeds of text or audio content. Typically each feed focuses on a specific genre of content such as sports or local news. Alexa will read a text feed, called text-to-speech (TTS) or play recorded audio files. One feed must serve as the default feed, which is always turned on for the skill. The remainder of the feeds for a flash briefing can be turned on by the user that enables your skill. Most flash briefings only have 1 feed, but you technically could have multiple feeds covering different sub-topics all under one umbrella flash briefing skill.

Here are the instruction on how to add a feed. For most flash briefings you would only have to do this once (i.e there would just be the single default feed). If you have multiple feeds, repeat the following steps or each feed.

  1. Click Add New Feed.
  2. Enter a Preamble Message. This is a short introduction for the feed that Alexa reads to the user before the actual audio is played. It should start with “In” or “From”. For example, “From Voice in Canada…”. The preamble is limited to 70 characters, and should be in the same language you chose for your skill.
  3. Enter a Name for the particular feed – choose a name that is unique to this skill and helps users determine the content. For flash briefings with one feed, this feed name can be the same as your skill name. For those with multiple feeds choose something that describes the feed. For example, “Developer news.”
  4. Choose the Content update frequency. This is how often the feed will have new content. You can choose: hourly, daily, or weekly. I recommend daily (but remember, you have to commit to doing it daily!).
  5. Choose your Content type. This is the format of the feed content. You can choose Text or Audio. I recommend audio, which is an actual audio file that you record. The rest of these instructions show how to setup this type of feed. (FYI: The other option – text – is to have Alexa read the text in her voice.)
  6. Select the best description of your Content genre from the drop-down box.
  7. Now, the moment of truth… it’s time to identify the location of your audio files, i.e. your Feed. As mentioned previously, there are lots of different ways to host your audio files. Whatever you decide to do, the feed field is where you paste the link (i.e. the JSON or RSS URL) to your audio files. The URL cannot be any destination which requires the user to login. Here is where Pippa.io really makes things simple! Remember when you setup your audio host with Pippa? Well, go back to your account, click on your flash briefing show, and then click on Distribution. Click on the Alexa Flash icon. Now simply copy the Alexa Field URL and past it into the Feed field on your Amazon Developer account. The last thing to do is edit the number at the end of the link – it can be any number from 1 to 5. This number tells Amazon how many of the latest audio files to play when a user requests your flash briefing. For most cases I suggest setting this at 1 so Alexa plays only the single most recent audio file at any given time. And that’s it! Easy, huh?!
  8. Now choose your Feed icon. This is a 512 x 512 pixel PNG (can include transparency) or JPG file that represents your feed. This image will display in the Alexa App. Again, make sure that the icon does not imply sponsorship by Amazon, or infringe on the copyright, trademark and publicity rights of a third party.
  9. Click Add.
  10. Click Save.
  11. Optional: Repeat these steps for each feed you provide for the skill. The first feed you add will automatically be marked as the default feed. If you add more feeds, you can choose which feed is the default, by selecting it in the Default column.
  12. Click the Test tab at the top left of the screen when you are finished adding feeds and are ready to test your skill.

Step 8: Test Your Flash Briefing Skill

The next step in skill creation is to test the Flash Briefing skill on your Alexa-enabled device. You must have this device registered to the same account as your developer account for your skill to display.

  1. On the Test tab in the developer portal, move the the slider in the top left corner to Enable to begin the testing.
  2. Click and hold the microphone icon and say,”Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?” or “Alexa, what’s the news?” Alexa should respond with “Here is your flash briefing.”
  3. (Don’t worry if you get an “Unsupported Directive. AudioPlayer is currently an unsupported namespace. Check the device log for more information” error message. Just ignore it!)
  4. Now go to your Alexa App > Skills and find your skill by applying the Your Skills filter, and enable the skill.
  5. After you enable your skill, you can ask Alexa, “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?” or “Alexa, what’s the news?” Your content should play or be read by your Alexa device.
  6. If you have multiple feeds, you should enable all of them and test them with your Alexa device or app.
  7. When you have finished testing your flash briefing and you are ready to move on, click the Launch tab in the upper left of the screen.

Step 9: Provide Launch Information for your Skill

The descriptions and images you provide on the Launch Information page provide the content that displays in the Alexa App. Users can scroll through a list of skills, and select a skill to see more detailed information. The interaction model is already defined so the most important information you provide is a short and long description of your skill, and the images that identify your flash briefing.

  1. Fill in the Public Name. This is the name of the flash briefing that will be displayed to users in the Alexa app. It can be different from your invocation name, but I suggest keeping it the same. It must be between 2-50 characters.
  2. Fill in the One Sentence Description. This is a quick, at-a-glance description that describes the flash briefing. This will display in the skill list in the Alexa App. It can be a maximum of 160 characters.
  3. Fill in the Detailed Description. This is a more comprehensive description of this skill. This description is shown to users on the skill detail card in the Alexa app. If you have multiple feeds, list the different feeds offered here.
  4. Don’t worry about the Example Phrases. They are automatically set for Flash Briefings and cannot be changed.
  5. Upload a Small Skill Icon. This is a 108 x 108 pixel PNG (can include transparency) or JPG file that represents your skill. You can make this the same as your feed icon, just a smaller version. In fact I recommend it, particularly if you only have 1 feed.
  6. Upload a Large Skill Icon. This is a 512 x 512 pixel PNG (can include transparency) or JPG file that represents your skill. This can be the exact same icon as your feed icon.
  7. Select a Category from the drop-down box that best describes your flash briefing. This helps users find your skill quickly and easily.
  8. Optional, but highly recommended: Enter some Keywords, or simple search words that relate to or describe your flash briefing. This helps users to find your flash briefing. Make sure to use spaces or commas between each search term.
  9. Optional: Enter the link to the Privacy Policy URL that applies to your flash briefing.
  10. Optional: Enter the link to the Terms of Use URL that applies to your flash briefing.
  11. Click Save and Continue.

Step 10: Answer the Privacy and Compliance Questions

The Privacy and Compliance page lists questions that are required for every skill, including flash briefings. Note that a Flash Briefing skill should NOT enable users to make purchases or ask customers for personal information.

  1. Answer No to the first question regarding allowing purchases.
  2. Answer No to the second question regarding collecting personal information.
  3. Answer the next 2 questions regarding targeting children and advertising as applicable to your particular flash briefing.
  4. Under Export Compliance, check to certify that your Flash Briefing skill may be imported to and exported from the United States and all countries that Amazon operates. Note: Your flash briefing will only display to customers in countries where the primary language of the country matches the skill language. For example, an English (CA) skill displays in Canada. An English (US) skill displays in other countries (including the US) where English is the primary language.
  5. Under Testing instructions, simply type ‘None’.
  6. Click Save and Continue.

Step 11: Set the Availability and Beta Test the Flash Briefing

  1. Answer the question, Who should have access to this skill? Select Public, unless of course you are creating a flash briefing to be used by a particular business.
  2. Optional: Beta Test your flash briefing. Click on the arrow in the beta test box. Enter your email address in the “Beta Test Administrator Email Address” box and then click Add. Then click on the arrow next to “Add Beta testers”, add the email addresses of people that you want to include in the beta test, and then click Add. Finally, click on Enable Beta Testing. Your beta testers will receive an email inviting them to beta test the flash briefing. Make sure to let them know about the beta test and make sure to gather feedback so you can continue to improve your flash briefing.
  3. Answer the question, Where would you like your skill to be available? I recommend selecting “In all countries…” to make your skill available to users worldwide. Select “Selected countries and regions” to limit the flash briefing to the specified countries. Your flash briefing needs to support the primary language for each of the specified countries to be accessible by users in those countries.
  4. Click Save and Continue.

Step 12: Perform Final Review and Submit for Certification

  1. Check for any flags that indicate that you have forgotten something or are missing an element.
  2. When everything looks good to go (i.e. you see a nice, big, green checkmark), click Submit for Review.

Step 13: Celebrate!

You’re done! Awesome job! Now sit back, relax, and wait for Amazon to email you back to tell you that the flash briefing is live. Amazon says that this can take up to 5 business days, but in my experience this usually happens within 24 hours. There is a chance that Amazon may reject it for various reasons, but they will always provide feedback if this is the case. It’s usually not a big deal – just fix the issue they identified and then resubmit it! Before you know it, you will have your flash briefing live and your message will be available to the world! Congrats!



Need some Extra Help?

If you follow along with the steps outlined above, you should have all the info and settings that you need to get your flash briefing up and running.

However, if you would like some personalized help with the recording, marketing, technology, or any other aspects of your particular flash briefing, I am pleased to be able to offer some limited time for flash briefing consultations. Please feel free to contact me here, tell me a little about your flash briefing ideas, and I will get back to you with the rates and some scheduling information as soon as I can.

Good luck with your flash briefing!!



List of resources mentioned in this episode:

]]>
Wondering how to create a flash briefing? Whether you want to promote your business, share your hobby, or raise awareness for your non-profit, now is the time to create a flash briefing. In this episode, Teri reveals the step by step instructions on how to create a flash briefing for Amazon Alexa… with no coding required!




Create a Flash Briefing

Flash briefings are the new podcasts… as least as far as I am concerned! If you are interested in getting your message out to the world, in my opinion there is simply no better way than to create a flash briefing. In my experience, good quality flash briefings are being consumed at a rate equal to or greater than that of podcasts. For example, 4 months after launching the Alexa in Canada Podcast, I was getting approximately 200 people listening to each episode on the day it was released (and less on the other days of the week). Compare that to the Voice in Canada Flash Briefing: after only 2 weeks, I was already getting 300 listeners every single day!

When it comes to audio content, flash briefings are the new frontier. This is the next big thing in audio, so my suggestion is don’t wait any longer – go create a flash briefing now!

Whether you want to promote your business, share your passion for a hobby, or raise awareness for your non-profit organization, now is the time to create a flash briefing. Below I outline the simple steps on how to create a flash briefing that anyone can follow. And there is no coding required!!



Step 1: Decide on Your Topic

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but before you begin to create a flash briefing it is really important to think carefully about your topic, and what you will be talking about. The most successful flash briefings are the ones that consistently put out great content. You have to be willing to commit to create a flash briefing episode on a daily basis. So, make sure that you have enough to say about your topic to make a daily show that is engaging, exciting, and valuable for your audience.

Can you imagine yourself doing this 365 days from now and still going strong with fresh ideas? Think about your general topic and then brainstorm (and write down!) at least 30 individual episode topics for your show. To help you out, here are a couple of subtopics to get the creative juices flowing: news, reviews, tips, tricks, deals, scores, updates, seasonal items…. the list really goes on and on, limited only by your imagination.



Step 2: Record an Episode (or a few!)

Are you cut out for this? Well, before you dive into setting up your Flash Briefing hosting service and your Amazon Developer account (don’t worry, both are really easy to setup!), try recording an episode for your first Flash Briefing and see how you like it. You could just use your mobile phone and get going, but keep in mind that the higher quality the audio, the more polished and professional your show will be!

Here is the audio equipment that I recommend. It’s relatively inexpensive and works great! It is excellent value for the money and this is what I used (and still use!) to create my top-rated Flash Briefing:

  1. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB/XLR Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
  2. NEEWER Adjustable Microphone Suspension Stand
  3. On Stage MY420 Studio Microphone Shock Mount
  4. Dragonpad Pop Filter Studio Microphone Wind Screen 

So, consider using some good audio equipment and a program such at GarageBand or Audacity for the recordings. Once you decide how you will record the episodes, go ahead, push record, and create your first flash briefing episode! Even better, get ahead of schedule and pre-record a week’s worth of episodes.

Also, keep in mind a few key points:

  • Make your flash briefing episodes short. I suggest keeping your audio files under a few minutes. I aim for approximately 2 minutes with each of my episodes.
  • The main purpose of each audio episode should be to provide informative and entertaining content to your listeners. Try to avoid advertising, plugs, or promotions.
  • Use high-quality audio formats. Amazon suggests using the MP3 format with a bit rate of at least 256kbps (this is a setting you choose when exporting your file from your recording software).
  • Make sure your audio is free of distracting background or other noises.
  • And finally, try to keep a consistent volume within each episode and between episodes.

Step 3: Decide Where you Will Host your Audio Files

So you got your first recording under your belt! Awesome job. That’s the first big step to create a flash briefing. Now what? Well, we need a place to upload those audio files so that when listeners ask Alexa for your flash briefing, she has a reliable, simple place to find them.

There are lots of ways to host your audio files, some more complicated than others, but I promised that this would be simple and coding-free, didn’t I?! Over the years, I have tried a number of audio hosting services and I now highly recommend Pippa.io. This is because they have made it extremely easy to setup a flash briefing, particularly because there is no coding or programming required. Simon Marcus, the CEO of Pippa.io, joined me on my podcast to discuss Pippa.io and how he, his team, and I developed the flash briefing feature in consultation with each other.

Note that in the spirit of full transparency, I am an affiliate for Pippa.io because I believe they offer such an incredible service. If you choose to use them, make sure to use the coupon code “alexaincanada” (without the quotes) to get a free month of serviceClick here to go to Pippa.io

Regardless of who you choose to host your audio, make sure that the host can provide a publicly-accessible RSS or JSON feed, secured with an https URL. Pippa does this all automatically!

Once you have setup your audio host, follow their instructions to create a flash briefing show and upload your audio files.



Step 4: Register as an Amazon Developer

The next step to create a flash briefing is to signup for an Amazon Developer account. This is completely free, but it is absolutely required. This is where you will submit your flash briefing to Amazon so Alexa knows that your show exists. Go to https://developer.amazon.com/login.html and create a free account.



Step 5: Create a New Skill in the Developer Console Beta

Once you have your developer account setup, it’s time to create a flash briefing skill. Go to the Alexa Skills Kit Developer Console at https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/console/ask and then follow along with these instructions:

  1. Click on Create Skill.
  2. Enter the Name for your skill. This name will be seen by users in the Alexa App. Make sure this name does not imply sponsorship by Amazon, or infringe on the copyright, trademark and publicity rights of a third party. Click Next.
  3. In the Language drop-down, choose the language for your skill. A Flash Briefing skill targets a single language and you cannot change the language once you select it. To create a flash briefing for the Canada Amazon store, (i.e. Amazon.ca) choose English (CA). To create a flash briefing in the American Amazon Skill Store (i.e. Amazon.com), choose English (US). Likewise, if you want your flash briefing in another country, choose the appropriate language.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Select the Flash Briefing Pre-Built model.
  6. Finally, click Create Skill. This will automatically take you to the Build tab (seen at the top left of the screen).

Step 6: Set up an Error Message

Enter a Custom Error Message. Alexa says this message to the user if there are any problems retrieving the flash briefing for some reason. Hopefully, your audience will never hear this! Just type something like, for example, “Voice in Canada is not available at the moment.” There is a 100 character maximum for this phrase. Make sure this message is in the language you chose for your skill. This means if you are creating an English Flash Briefing, your error message should be in English.



Step 7: Add One or More Flash Briefing Feed(s)

When you create a flash briefing skill, you have the option to setup multiple feeds of text or audio content. Typically each feed focuses on a specific genre of content such as sports or local news. Alexa will read a text feed, called text-to-speech (TTS) or play recorded audio files. One feed must serve as the default feed, which is always turned on for the skill. The remainder of the feeds for a flash briefing can be turned on by the user that enables your skill. Most flash briefings only have 1 feed, but you technically could have multiple feeds covering different sub-topics all under one umbrella flash briefing skill.

Here are the instruction on how to add a feed. For most flash briefings you would only have to do this once (i.e there would just be the single default feed). If you have multiple feeds, repeat the following steps or each feed.

  1. Click Add New Feed.
  2. Enter a Preamble Message. This is a short introduction for the feed that Alexa reads to the user before the actual audio is played. It should start with “In” or “From”. For example, “From Voice in Canada…”. The preamble is limited to 70 characters, and should be in the same language you chose for your skill.
  3. Enter a Name for the particular feed – choose a name that is unique to this skill and helps users determine the content. For flash briefings with one feed, this feed name can be the same as your skill name. For those with multiple feeds choose something that describes the feed. For example, “Developer news.”
  4. Choose the Content update frequency. This is how often the feed will have new content. You can choose: hourly, daily, or weekly. I recommend daily (but remember, you have to commit to doing it daily!).
  5. Choose your Content type. This is the format of the feed content. You can choose Text or Audio. I recommend audio, which is an actual audio file that you record. The rest of these instructions show how to setup this type of feed. (FYI: The other option – text – is to have Alexa read the text in her voice.)
  6. Select the best description of your Content genre from the drop-down box.
  7. Now, the moment of truth… it’s time to identify the location of your audio files, i.e. your Feed. As mentioned previously, there are lots of different ways to host your audio files. Whatever you decide to do, the feed field is where you paste the link (i.e. the JSON or RSS URL) to your audio files. The URL cannot be any destination which requires the user to login. Here is where Pippa.io really makes things simple! Remember when you setup your audio host with Pippa? Well, go back to your account, click on your flash briefing show, and then click on Distribution. Click on the Alexa Flash icon. Now simply copy the Alexa Field URL and past it into the Feed field on your Amazon Developer account. The last thing to do is edit the number at the end of the link – it can be any number from 1 to 5. This number tells Amazon how many of the latest audio files to play when a user requests your flash briefing. For most cases I suggest setting this at 1 so Alexa plays only the single most recent audio file at any given time. And that’s it! Easy, huh?!
  8. Now choose your Feed icon. This is a 512 x 512 pixel PNG (can include transparency) or JPG file that represents your feed. This image will display in the Alexa App. Again, make sure that the icon does not imply sponsorship by Amazon, or infringe on the copyright, trademark and publicity rights of a third party.
  9. Click Add.
  10. Click Save.
  11. Optional: Repeat these steps for each feed you provide for the skill. The first feed you add will automatically be marked as the default feed. If you add more feeds, you can choose which feed is the default, by selecting it in the Default column.
  12. Click the Test tab at the top left of the screen when you are finished adding feeds and are ready to test your skill.

Step 8: Test Your Flash Briefing Skill

The next step in skill creation is to test the Flash Briefing skill on your Alexa-enabled device. You must have this device registered to the same account as your developer account for your skill to display.

  1. On the Test tab in the developer portal, move the the slider in the top left corner to Enable to begin the testing.
  2. Click and hold the microphone icon and say,”Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?” or “Alexa, what’s the news?” Alexa should respond with “Here is your flash briefing.”
  3. (Don’t worry if you get an “Unsupported Directive. AudioPlayer is currently an unsupported namespace. Check the device log for more information” error message. Just ignore it!)
  4. Now go to your Alexa App > Skills and find your skill by applying the Your Skills filter, and enable the skill.
  5. After you enable your skill, you can ask Alexa, “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?” or “Alexa, what’s the news?” Your content should play or be read by your Alexa device.
  6. If you have multiple feeds, you should enable all of them and test them with your Alexa device or app.
  7. When you have finished testing your flash briefing and you are ready to move on, click the Launch tab in the upper left of the screen.

Step 9: Provide Launch Information for your Skill

The descriptions and images you provide on the Launch Information page provide the content that displays in the Alexa App. Users can scroll through a list of skills, and select a skill to see more detailed information. The interaction model is already defined so the most important information you provide is a short and long description of your skill, and the images that identify your flash briefing.

  1. Fill in the Public Name. This is the name of the flash briefing that will be displayed to users in the Alexa app. It can be different from your invocation name, but I suggest keeping it the same. It must be between 2-50 characters.
  2. Fill in the One Sentence Description. This is a quick, at-a-glance description that describes the flash briefing. This will display in the skill list in the Alexa App. It can be a maximum of 160 characters.
  3. Fill in the Detailed Description. This is a more comprehensive description of this skill. This description is shown to users on the skill detail card in the Alexa app. If you have multiple feeds, list the different feeds offered here.
  4. Don’t worry about the Example Phrases. They are automatically set for Flash Briefings and cannot be changed.
  5. Upload a Small Skill Icon. This is a 108 x 108 pixel PNG (can include transparency) or JPG file that represents your skill. You can make this the same as your feed icon, just a smaller version. In fact I recommend it, particularly if you only have 1 feed.
  6. Upload a Large Skill Icon. This is a 512 x 512 pixel PNG (can include transparency) or JPG file that represents your skill. This can be the exact same icon as your feed icon.
  7. Select a Category from the drop-down box that best describes your flash briefing. This helps users find your skill quickly and easily.
  8. Optional, but highly recommended: Enter some Keywords, or simple search words that relate to or describe your flash briefing. This helps users to find your flash briefing. Make sure to use spaces or commas between each search term.
  9. Optional: Enter the link to the Privacy Policy URL that applies to your flash briefing.
  10. Optional: Enter the link to the Terms of Use URL that applies to your flash briefing.
  11. Click Save and Continue.

Step 10: Answer the Privacy and Compliance Questions

The Privacy and Compliance page lists questions that are required for every skill, including flash briefings. Note that a Flash Briefing skill should NOT enable users to make purchases or ask customers for personal information.

  1. Answer No to the first question regarding allowing purchases.
  2. Answer No to the second question regarding collecting personal information.
  3. Answer the next 2 questions regarding targeting children and advertising as applicable to your particular flash briefing.
  4. Under Export Compliance, check to certify that your Flash Briefing skill may be imported to and exported from the United States and all countries that Amazon operates. Note: Your flash briefing will only display to customers in countries where the primary language of the country matches the skill language. For example, an English (CA) skill displays in Canada. An English (US) skill displays in other countries (including the US) where English is the primary language.
  5. Under Testing instructions, simply type ‘None’.
  6. Click Save and Continue.

Step 11: Set the Availability and Beta Test the Flash Briefing

  1. Answer the question, Who should have access to this skill? Select Public, unless of course you are creating a flash briefing to be used by a particular business.
  2. Optional: Beta Test your flash briefing. Click on the arrow in the beta test box. Enter your email address in the “Beta Test Administrator Email Address” box and then click Add. Then click on the arrow next to “Add Beta testers”, add the email addresses of people that you want to include in the beta test, and then click Add. Finally, click on Enable Beta Testing. Your beta testers will receive an email inviting them to beta test the flash briefing. Make sure to let them know about the beta test and make sure to gather feedback so you can continue to improve your flash briefing.
  3. Answer the question, Where would you like your skill to be available? I recommend selecting “In all countries…” to make your skill available to users worldwide. Select “Selected countries and regions” to limit the flash briefing to the specified countries. Your flash briefing needs to support the primary language for each of the specified countries to be accessible by users in those countries.
  4. Click Save and Continue.

Step 12: Perform Final Review and Submit for Certification

  1. Check for any flags that indicate that you have forgotten something or are missing an element.
  2. When everything looks good to go (i.e. you see a nice, big, green checkmark), click Submit for Review.

Step 13: Celebrate!

You’re done! Awesome job! Now sit back, relax, and wait for Amazon to email you back to tell you that the flash briefing is live. Amazon says that this can take up to 5 business days, but in my experience this usually happens within 24 hours. There is a chance that Amazon may reject it for various reasons, but they will always provide feedback if this is the case. It’s usually not a big deal – just fix the issue they identified and then resubmit it! Before you know it, you will have your flash briefing live and your message will be available to the world! Congrats!



Need some Extra Help?

If you follow along with the steps outlined above, you should have all the info and settings that you need to get your flash briefing up and running.

However, if you would like some personalized help with the recording, marketing, technology, or any other aspects of your particular flash briefing, I am pleased to be able to offer some limited time for flash briefing consultations. Please feel free to contact me here, tell me a little about your flash briefing ideas, and I will get back to you with the rates and some scheduling information as soon as I can.

Good luck with your flash briefing!!



List of resources mentioned in this episode:

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<![CDATA[Smart Home Lighting and Alexa #17]]> Tue, 13 Mar 2018 07:00:00 GMT 20:23 5aa205d909689f487cfd5177 no full 1 17 In this episode, Teri talks about the options for smart home lighting and talks about his experience and recommendations for Alexa-controlled smart lighting.


Smart Home Lighting and Alexa

As you will recall, in Episode 12 of this podcast, I interviewed Jesus Gallardo about smart home automation. He suggested that the easiest way to get started with home automation was through smart lighting.

Well, I decided to take his advice and once I started doing some further research, this is what I discovered…

My Research on Smart Home Lighting

After the conversation with Jesus Gallardo, I started to look at the different types of smart lighting you can choose to buy. I discovered that there are 3 different categories, each with their own pros and cons:

1. Smart light bulbs

Pros

  • Very simple to setup; you simply replace the lightbulbs.
  • This is the only option that allows you to change the colour of the lights.
  • You can use the light colours to alert you to various conditions, such as weather, alarms, etc.
  • You can setup scenes using the colours (e.g. sunset mood, sunrise mood, etc.).
  • You can dim these lights.
  • Good for areas that do not have a neutral wire in the switch electrical box (see below).

Cons

  • Some smart lightbulbs require a hub.
  • The lightbulb will only respond to your voice or your app IF the wall switch is on. If the wall light switch is turned off, you must use the wall light switch to turn them back on before you can control them with your Alexa or the app.
  • Can be expensive, if you need to replace many light bulbs.

Recommended Brands

Bottom Line

Great for people who want control of the colour and intensity of their lights.

2. Smart outlets

Pros

  • Very simple to setup; you simply plug the outlet into your wall socket and then you plug your lamp (or other device) into the outlet.
  • This will work well for lights with a plug (i.e. table light, desk lamp, etc.)

Cons

  • This will not work for lights that are hard wired into you home (i.e. you control them with a wall switch)
  • You cannot change the colour of the light.

Recommended Brands

Bottom line

Great for people with floor lamps, desk lamps with plugs, and do not care about changing the colour of their lights.

3. Smart light wall switches

Pros

  • This option gives you the most control of your lights – you can control your lights through your app, Alexa, or the switch itself at ALL times. This is because there is always power going to the switch (as long as you have a neutral wire in the electrical box of the switch)
  • Less expensive if the switch controls a large bank of ceiling or wall lights (i.e. you only need to change one switch instead of multiple light bulbs).

Cons

  • This requires some electrical work. If you do not know what you are doing make sure to ask someone who does, or hire an electrician.
  • You need a neutral wire. You can check this by turning off your power and then looking inside the wall electrical box – you should see a white “extra” wire.
  • You cannot change the colour of the light.

Recommended Brand

Bottom line

Best for people who want to have the most control of their lighting, and are comfortable doing some simple electrical work.

What do I think of using Alexa for Smart Home lighting?

When I first installed the smart lighting, I wasn’t sure how much I would use it. Now that I have it, I love it!

I have discovered some really great use-case scenarios. I have two levels in my home and it’s nice at the end of the day when I’m going up to bed upstairs to just say “Alexa, lights off” and all the downstairs lights just shut off together. I don’t have to worry about running around to check if any lights are still on.

It is really great when I am coming to home and my hands are full. Sometime I’m hauling hockey equipment behind me for my kids and I’ve got a bag on my shoulder and we can just say “Alexa, entrance hall light on” or “Alexa, family room light on” and it just gets done.

I’m very happy with the product that I’ve got, I do not hesitate to recommend them at all and hopefully you will enjoy using your Alexa-controlled smart lighting as well!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
In this episode, Teri talks about the options for smart home lighting and talks about his experience and recommendations for Alexa-controlled smart lighting.


Smart Home Lighting and Alexa

As you will recall, in Episode 12 of this podcast, I interviewed Jesus Gallardo about smart home automation. He suggested that the easiest way to get started with home automation was through smart lighting.

Well, I decided to take his advice and once I started doing some further research, this is what I discovered…

My Research on Smart Home Lighting

After the conversation with Jesus Gallardo, I started to look at the different types of smart lighting you can choose to buy. I discovered that there are 3 different categories, each with their own pros and cons:

1. Smart light bulbs

Pros

  • Very simple to setup; you simply replace the lightbulbs.
  • This is the only option that allows you to change the colour of the lights.
  • You can use the light colours to alert you to various conditions, such as weather, alarms, etc.
  • You can setup scenes using the colours (e.g. sunset mood, sunrise mood, etc.).
  • You can dim these lights.
  • Good for areas that do not have a neutral wire in the switch electrical box (see below).

Cons

  • Some smart lightbulbs require a hub.
  • The lightbulb will only respond to your voice or your app IF the wall switch is on. If the wall light switch is turned off, you must use the wall light switch to turn them back on before you can control them with your Alexa or the app.
  • Can be expensive, if you need to replace many light bulbs.

Recommended Brands

Bottom Line

Great for people who want control of the colour and intensity of their lights.

2. Smart outlets

Pros

  • Very simple to setup; you simply plug the outlet into your wall socket and then you plug your lamp (or other device) into the outlet.
  • This will work well for lights with a plug (i.e. table light, desk lamp, etc.)

Cons

  • This will not work for lights that are hard wired into you home (i.e. you control them with a wall switch)
  • You cannot change the colour of the light.

Recommended Brands

Bottom line

Great for people with floor lamps, desk lamps with plugs, and do not care about changing the colour of their lights.

3. Smart light wall switches

Pros

  • This option gives you the most control of your lights – you can control your lights through your app, Alexa, or the switch itself at ALL times. This is because there is always power going to the switch (as long as you have a neutral wire in the electrical box of the switch)
  • Less expensive if the switch controls a large bank of ceiling or wall lights (i.e. you only need to change one switch instead of multiple light bulbs).

Cons

  • This requires some electrical work. If you do not know what you are doing make sure to ask someone who does, or hire an electrician.
  • You need a neutral wire. You can check this by turning off your power and then looking inside the wall electrical box – you should see a white “extra” wire.
  • You cannot change the colour of the light.

Recommended Brand

Bottom line

Best for people who want to have the most control of their lighting, and are comfortable doing some simple electrical work.

What do I think of using Alexa for Smart Home lighting?

When I first installed the smart lighting, I wasn’t sure how much I would use it. Now that I have it, I love it!

I have discovered some really great use-case scenarios. I have two levels in my home and it’s nice at the end of the day when I’m going up to bed upstairs to just say “Alexa, lights off” and all the downstairs lights just shut off together. I don’t have to worry about running around to check if any lights are still on.

It is really great when I am coming to home and my hands are full. Sometime I’m hauling hockey equipment behind me for my kids and I’ve got a bag on my shoulder and we can just say “Alexa, entrance hall light on” or “Alexa, family room light on” and it just gets done.

I’m very happy with the product that I’ve got, I do not hesitate to recommend them at all and hopefully you will enjoy using your Alexa-controlled smart lighting as well!

List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
<![CDATA[Interactive Stories with Katie Ernst #16]]> Tue, 06 Mar 2018 08:00:00 GMT 24:01 5a98e8d19926abc223b4ef64 no full 1 16 In this episode, Teri welcomes Katie Ernst, co-founder of Select a Story, to talk about voice first interactive stories and the release of her Amazon Alexa skill in Canada.


Welcome Katie Ernst!

Katie Ernst is a lawyer, author, and co-founder of Select a Story, one of the leading companies that produces interactive stories for the voice-first platforms. I was really excited to have her as a guest recently to hear about her perspectives of this growing sector of Alexa skills.

We also had a special surprise cameo appearance by a 9 year old girl, who is a fan of Select a Story…. and may or may not be my daughter (just saying’)!


Katie’s Story

Katie is an author, who has written 10 “traditional” novels for children. Katie’s introduction to interactive stories began when she first got an Amazon echo, and after trying “The Magic Door” skill, she was inspired and she decided that she had the perfect skill set to start writing interactive stories of her own. While Katie began writing her first interactive story, Cinder/Charming, her husband began the software development. They make a great team and co-founded Select a Story!


Some of Katie’s perspectives on Interactive Stories

Katie believes that there is something magical about being able to talk to a device, similar to “Computer” from Star Trek.


In her experience, Katie finds it challenging to self-publish traditional books for middle school grades as this age-group tends to have less e-reader devices then older kids. The voice-first revolution makes is easier for authors to self-publish books for middle grades because these stories are more easily accessible by children via their household smart speakers.


Katie’s first interactive story is called Cinder/Charming, a 30,000 word, voice-first publication, equivalent to approximately 120-130 pages. This story has 130 different scenes, all completely narrated with sounds effects. The listener makes decisions about the plot as the story progresses, similar to the old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books that I remember reading as a child. Katie has plans to expand the catalogue of stories that can be accessed through the Select a Story skill.


Select a Story Skill

Select a Story is a great skill and you can check-out my review here. I suggest you check out the skill too!


List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
In this episode, Teri welcomes Katie Ernst, co-founder of Select a Story, to talk about voice first interactive stories and the release of her Amazon Alexa skill in Canada.


Welcome Katie Ernst!

Katie Ernst is a lawyer, author, and co-founder of Select a Story, one of the leading companies that produces interactive stories for the voice-first platforms. I was really excited to have her as a guest recently to hear about her perspectives of this growing sector of Alexa skills.

We also had a special surprise cameo appearance by a 9 year old girl, who is a fan of Select a Story…. and may or may not be my daughter (just saying’)!


Katie’s Story

Katie is an author, who has written 10 “traditional” novels for children. Katie’s introduction to interactive stories began when she first got an Amazon echo, and after trying “The Magic Door” skill, she was inspired and she decided that she had the perfect skill set to start writing interactive stories of her own. While Katie began writing her first interactive story, Cinder/Charming, her husband began the software development. They make a great team and co-founded Select a Story!


Some of Katie’s perspectives on Interactive Stories

Katie believes that there is something magical about being able to talk to a device, similar to “Computer” from Star Trek.


In her experience, Katie finds it challenging to self-publish traditional books for middle school grades as this age-group tends to have less e-reader devices then older kids. The voice-first revolution makes is easier for authors to self-publish books for middle grades because these stories are more easily accessible by children via their household smart speakers.


Katie’s first interactive story is called Cinder/Charming, a 30,000 word, voice-first publication, equivalent to approximately 120-130 pages. This story has 130 different scenes, all completely narrated with sounds effects. The listener makes decisions about the plot as the story progresses, similar to the old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books that I remember reading as a child. Katie has plans to expand the catalogue of stories that can be accessed through the Select a Story skill.


Select a Story Skill

Select a Story is a great skill and you can check-out my review here. I suggest you check out the skill too!


List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
<![CDATA[An Alexa Experience with Dave Jackson #15]]> Tue, 27 Feb 2018 08:00:00 GMT 25:05 5a87c44aa80d26f15fe6290a no full 1 15 Welcome Dave Jackson!

Dave Jackson has been teaching about technology for decades and has been podcasting since 2005. He launched the Alexacast in 2016 to document his journey as a consumer of the Alexa technology. I was really excited to have him as a guest on the podcast to hear about his experiences about living with Alexa in America.


The Alexacast

The Alexacast podcast was started as a way for Dave to document his journey as an Alexa user. He calls this type of podcast a "journey podcast", one in which the listener comes along for the ride while the host describes his experience while learning about a particular topic - in this case, Alexa. This is a topic that excited Dave and when he found out he could make shopping lists though Alexa, that "sucked him in"!


Some of Dave's Thoughts on Alexa

Initially Dave used Alexa to control smart lights in his home. He then expanded this to control smart plugs and he enjoys using these smart home automation features.

He enjoys using Alexa to create to-do lists and has paired the Todoist app to Alexa to have greater control of his lists.

He likes using Alexa to control his music through Spotify and Pandora.

He enjoys using Flash Briefings to stay up to date on Alexa features.

He finds that the timers are very useful, particularly around the kitchen.

One of his favourite skills is the Seven Minute Workout, which he has paired to his FitBit.


Thanks Dave!

Thank you Dave for joining us on the podcast and sharing some of your experiences and perspectives as a consumer of Alexa!


List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
Welcome Dave Jackson!

Dave Jackson has been teaching about technology for decades and has been podcasting since 2005. He launched the Alexacast in 2016 to document his journey as a consumer of the Alexa technology. I was really excited to have him as a guest on the podcast to hear about his experiences about living with Alexa in America.


The Alexacast

The Alexacast podcast was started as a way for Dave to document his journey as an Alexa user. He calls this type of podcast a "journey podcast", one in which the listener comes along for the ride while the host describes his experience while learning about a particular topic - in this case, Alexa. This is a topic that excited Dave and when he found out he could make shopping lists though Alexa, that "sucked him in"!


Some of Dave's Thoughts on Alexa

Initially Dave used Alexa to control smart lights in his home. He then expanded this to control smart plugs and he enjoys using these smart home automation features.

He enjoys using Alexa to create to-do lists and has paired the Todoist app to Alexa to have greater control of his lists.

He likes using Alexa to control his music through Spotify and Pandora.

He enjoys using Flash Briefings to stay up to date on Alexa features.

He finds that the timers are very useful, particularly around the kitchen.

One of his favourite skills is the Seven Minute Workout, which he has paired to his FitBit.


Thanks Dave!

Thank you Dave for joining us on the podcast and sharing some of your experiences and perspectives as a consumer of Alexa!


List of resources mentioned in this episode:


]]>
<![CDATA[Flash Briefing Launch with Simon Marcus #14]]> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 08:00:00 GMT 20:30 5a82684fc1ca6ecd4ea34aa9 no full 1 14 In this special episode, Teri announces the Voice in Canada Flash Briefing launch and invites Simon Marcus, CEO of Pippa.io, to discuss his company and the service used to host the Voice in Canada flash briefing.




Voice in Canada Flash Briefing Launch!

I am really excited to launch the Voice in Canada Flash Briefing! I wanted to create something on the Amazon Alexa platform that would be valuable to the the Alexa in Canada community and creating a flash briefing seemed like the perfect idea. The flash briefing is designed to be a series of daily short episodes, discussing tips and tricks, commands, skills, reviews, news, and deals.


To thank you for being an early supporter of the flash briefing launch, I will be giving away a free Amazon Echo Dot to one lucky listener. Make sure to scroll to the bottom to see how you can enter to win the Echo Dot!




Benefits of Flash Briefings

Benefits for the Listeners

  • Very easy to listen to.
  • Almost no friction to listening.
  • Can multitask while consuming audio content.
  • Can discover and learn about new topics very easily.

Benefits for the Producers

  • Huge opportunity for Producers - there only approximately 200 flash briefings currently in Canada.
  • Can discuss your passion/hobbies.
  • Can serve your audience and promote your business.




Welcome Simon Marcus!

Simon Marcus is the CEO of Pippa.io, the podcast and flash briefing hosting service that I use to host my Alexa in Canada podcast and Voice in Canada flash briefing. Pippa.io has made it very easy to setup my flash briefing, particularly because there is no coding or programming required. Simon joins me on the podcast to discuss his service and how he and his team developed the flash briefing feature.




List of resources mentioned in this episode:




Contest!

Win a Brand New Echo Dot!

Thank you so much for being here and listening to my very first flash briefing episodes. To express my appreciation I am holding a contest to award one of you awesome early listeners with a brand new Echo Dot!

To enter the contest, follow these 3 simple steps:

1. Leave an honest review of the flash briefing through your Alexa app or on the Amazon Skills store by clicking HERE!

2. Take a screenshot of your review BEFORE you submit it. Once you have your screenshot, submit the review.

3. Post the screenshot to your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account with these 3 hashtags:

  • #amazonecho
  • #amazonalexa
  • #voiceincanada

BONUS: Get an extra entry for every extra social media channel that you post your screenshot to with those hashtags!

I will choose one lucky winner at random on March 5th and I will announce the winner on the Alexa in Canada social media channels and notify the winner through his/her social media account!



The Fine Print

Contest is open for 2 weeks, from February 19, 2018, until 11:59pm on March 4, 2018.
There will be one winner for this contest. Winner will be selected at random (using the Alexa random number generator command!!) and posted on the Alexa in Canada Social media channels, and announced on the Voice in Canada Flash Briefing, on March 6, 2018.
Open to Canadian and US residents 21 years or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by Canadian or US law.
Winner will have to answer a skill testing question.
Contest is not associated in any way with Amazon.com Inc. Alexa in Canada and Voice in Canada are independent publications and have not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Amazon.com, Inc.
Winner will receive one Echo Dot (approx retail value $69.99 CDN).






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In this special episode, Teri announces the Voice in Canada Flash Briefing launch and invites Simon Marcus, CEO of Pippa.io, to discuss his company and the service used to host the Voice in Canada flash briefing.




Voice in Canada Flash Briefing Launch!

I am really excited to launch the Voice in Canada Flash Briefing! I wanted to create something on the Amazon Alexa platform that would be valuable to the the Alexa in Canada community and creating a flash briefing seemed like the perfect idea. The flash briefing is designed to be a series of daily short episodes, discussing tips and tricks, commands, skills, reviews, news, and deals.


To thank you for being an early supporter of the flash briefing launch, I will be giving away a free Amazon Echo Dot to one lucky listener. Make sure to scroll to the bottom to see how you can enter to win the Echo Dot!




Benefits of Flash Briefings

Benefits for the Listeners

  • Very easy to listen to.
  • Almost no friction to listening.
  • Can multitask while consuming audio content.
  • Can discover and learn about new topics very easily.

Benefits for the Producers

  • Huge opportunity for Producers - there only approximately 200 flash briefings currently in Canada.
  • Can discuss your passion/hobbies.
  • Can serve your audience and promote your business.




Welcome Simon Marcus!

Simon Marcus is the CEO of Pippa.io, the podcast and flash briefing hosting service that I use to host my Alexa in Canada podcast and Voice in Canada flash briefing. Pippa.io has made it very easy to setup my flash briefing, particularly because there is no coding or programming required. Simon joins me on the podcast to discuss his service and how he and his team developed the flash briefing feature.




List of resources mentioned in this episode:




Contest!

Win a Brand New Echo Dot!

Thank you so much for being here and listening to my very first flash briefing episodes. To express my appreciation I am holding a contest to award one of you awesome early listeners with a brand new Echo Dot!

To enter the contest, follow these 3 simple steps:

1. Leave an honest review of the flash briefing through your Alexa app or on the Amazon Skills store by clicking HERE!

2. Take a screenshot of your review BEFORE you submit it. Once you have your screenshot, submit the review.

3. Post the screenshot to your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account with these 3 hashtags:

  • #amazonecho
  • #amazonalexa
  • #voiceincanada

BONUS: Get an extra entry for every extra social media channel that you post your screenshot to with those hashtags!

I will choose one lucky winner at random on March 5th and I will announce the winner on the Alexa in Canada social media channels and notify the winner through his/her social media account!



The Fine Print

Contest is open for 2 weeks, from February 19, 2018, until 11:59pm on March 4, 2018.
There will be one winner for this contest. Winner will be selected at random (using the Alexa random number generator command!!) and posted on the Alexa in Canada Social media channels, and announced on the Voice in Canada Flash Briefing, on March 6, 2018.
Open to Canadian and US residents 21 years or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by Canadian or US law.
Winner will have to answer a skill testing question.
Contest is not associated in any way with Amazon.com Inc. Alexa in Canada and Voice in Canada are independent publications and have not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Amazon.com, Inc.
Winner will receive one Echo Dot (approx retail value $69.99 CDN).






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<![CDATA[Voice First with Bradley Metrock #13]]> Tue, 13 Feb 2018 08:05:00 GMT 42:45 5a769689b04882870e993ed9 no full 1 13 Bradley Metrock, the CEO of Score Publishing and a leader in the voice technology space, joins Teri to recap this year's Alexa Conference and to discuss the VoiceFirst.FM podcast network. Teri also makes 2 very special announcements!


http://AlexaInCanada.ca/13

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Bradley Metrock, the CEO of Score Publishing and a leader in the voice technology space, joins Teri to recap this year's Alexa Conference and to discuss the VoiceFirst.FM podcast network. Teri also makes 2 very special announcements!


http://AlexaInCanada.ca/13

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<![CDATA[Basic Smart Home Automation with Jesus Gallardo #12]]> Tue, 06 Feb 2018 08:05:00 GMT 27:13 5a6e5d540ef9fdbe776cf6ee no full 1 12 <![CDATA[How to Setup Multiple Echo Devices #11]]> Tue, 30 Jan 2018 08:05:00 GMT 17:33 5a6b384e3fe5f2902b8f1956 no full 1 11 In this episode, Teri discusses how to add a second Echo device to your home. He covers how to setup additional Alexa devices, the Drop-In feature, how to group devices and how to use your phone to communicate with Echo devices. 


http://AlexaInCanada.ca/11

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In this episode, Teri discusses how to add a second Echo device to your home. He covers how to setup additional Alexa devices, the Drop-In feature, how to group devices and how to use your phone to communicate with Echo devices. 


http://AlexaInCanada.ca/11

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<![CDATA[Voice Trends in Canada with Brian Jackson #10]]> Tue, 23 Jan 2018 08:05:00 GMT 29:55 5a617b4e27e6ed7870065455 no full 1 10 In this episode, Teri welcomes Brian Jackson, editorial director of IT World Canada, to talk about the voice trends of digital assistants in Canada (Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant) and the latest news coming out of CES 2018.


http://AlexaInCanada.ca/10

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In this episode, Teri welcomes Brian Jackson, editorial director of IT World Canada, to talk about the voice trends of digital assistants in Canada (Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant) and the latest news coming out of CES 2018.


http://AlexaInCanada.ca/10

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<![CDATA[Alexa Voice is the Interface of the Future #9]]> Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT 18:40 5a4f04587d37c637627b48ab no full 1 9 In this episode, Teri talks about how Alexa Voice technology is the way of the future for interacting with all smart devices. He also discusses a way to try Alexa on your smart phone without any Echo devices. Finally, he discusses Cleo, a skill that Alexa is using to learn languages.


http://AlexaInCanada.ca/9

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In this episode, Teri talks about how Alexa Voice technology is the way of the future for interacting with all smart devices. He also discusses a way to try Alexa on your smart phone without any Echo devices. Finally, he discusses Cleo, a skill that Alexa is using to learn languages.


http://AlexaInCanada.ca/9

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<![CDATA[Alexa in the United States with William Nutt #8]]> Tue, 09 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT 30:02 5a4d1ab34d903aa2133178ca no full 1 8 In this episode, Teri talks with a counterpart, William Nutt, about the pattern of Alexa use in the United States and how this parallels with the uptake of the Canadian use of Alexa and Echo devices.


http://AlexaInCanada.ca/8

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In this episode, Teri talks with a counterpart, William Nutt, about the pattern of Alexa use in the United States and how this parallels with the uptake of the Canadian use of Alexa and Echo devices.


http://AlexaInCanada.ca/8

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<![CDATA[Alexa Update for the New Year #7]]> Tue, 02 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT 16:31 5a49d1ef95dfbf9d13d4dd72 no full 1 7 In this episode, Teri talks about the milestones achieve by Amazon.ca and Alexa in Canada over the past month and explores where Alexa is going in 2018. Buckle up because it's going to be a wild ride!


http://alexaincanada.ca/7

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In this episode, Teri talks about the milestones achieve by Amazon.ca and Alexa in Canada over the past month and explores where Alexa is going in 2018. Buckle up because it's going to be a wild ride!


http://alexaincanada.ca/7

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<![CDATA[Alexa Routines and Flash Briefings #6]]> Tue, 26 Dec 2017 08:00:00 GMT 18:04 no Teri talks about the basic Alexa routines and flash briefings, and how they can make you even more efficient with your Echo device. As a bonus, he reveals some of the holiday commands/skills for you to try.

http://alexaincanada.ca/6

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Teri talks about the basic Alexa routines and flash briefings, and how they can make you even more efficient with your Echo device. As a bonus, he reveals some of the holiday commands/skills for you to try.

http://alexaincanada.ca/6

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<![CDATA[Basic Alexa/Echo Commands #5]]> Tue, 19 Dec 2017 08:00:00 GMT 19:06 no In this 5th episode, Teri talks about the basic Commands that Amazon Alexa can understand right out of the box! She has hundreds if not thousands of commands that she understands, and in this episode, we cover all the basics. 

http://AlexaInCanada.ca/5

http://AlexaInCanada.ca/commands

 

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In this 5th episode, Teri talks about the basic Commands that Amazon Alexa can understand right out of the box! She has hundreds if not thousands of commands that she understands, and in this episode, we cover all the basics. 

http://AlexaInCanada.ca/5

http://AlexaInCanada.ca/commands

 

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<![CDATA[How to Setup Alexa in Canada #4]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 08:00:00 GMT 29:59 no In this episode, Teri talks about his first impressions of his Echo Dot, describes how to setup Alexa in Canada, and introduces a Canadian radio skill.

Subscribe for more info!

http://AlexaInCanada.ca/4

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In this episode, Teri talks about his first impressions of his Echo Dot, describes how to setup Alexa in Canada, and introduces a Canadian radio skill.

Subscribe for more info!

http://AlexaInCanada.ca/4

]]>
<![CDATA[How Does Alexa Work? #3]]> Thu, 30 Nov 2017 20:00:00 GMT 13:07 no <![CDATA[Amazon Echo Devices in Canada. #2]]> Thu, 30 Nov 2017 03:24:14 GMT 18:26 no <![CDATA[Welcome to Alexa in Canada! #1]]> Mon, 27 Nov 2017 05:00:02 GMT 13:05 no