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Hack the UK with Amazon Alexa (open to problem solvers worldwide!)
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58 months ago
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Alexa, the voice service that powers the Amazon Echo, provides capabilities, or skills, that enable customers to interact with devices in a more intuitive way using voice. Every skill you create makes Alexa smarter. Alexa's skills include the ability to play music, answer general questions, set an alarm or timer, and more.

We want students to use their summer break to build skills that are locally relevant to Alexa users within the UK. These skills should pertain specifically to UK users and make the everyday lives of these customers easier.  If you were using Alexa in the UK, what might you want to know?  Consider the following locally relevant examples as you brainstorm for your skill:

  • - local rubbish collection days and types
  • - UK concert tours or music festivals
  • - local theatre information and show times
  • - local leisure facilities timetables and opening hours


Your submission to the UK Alexa Skill Store should be relevant specifically to a UK user. It should not be random facts or trivia, but something locally relevant and useful. You should demonstrate that the skill fulfills a genuine need.

Solvers are encouraged to do the following in their submissions:
• Demonstrate creativity
• Be useful to UK Alexa users
• Use voice user interface best practices
• Use third-party SDK, API, dataset, or Hardware
• Use AWS services other than AWS Lambda

Frequently Asked Questions.

  1. What is the Alexa Skills Kit?

    The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) enables developers to easily build capabilities, called skills, for Alexa. ASK includes self-service APIs, documentation, templates, and code samples to get developers on a rapid road to publishing their Alexa skills.

  2. How do I build my skill?
    Follow these resources to get started:
    - How to build your first Amazon Alexa skill
    - Watch a short video series on how to build your own skill
    - Voice design best practices
    - Alexa skills kit forum
    - Alexa Skill Kit Node.js quick start
    - Alexa Skill Kit Smart home quick start
    - Apply for AWS Educate and get hands-on experience with AWS.

  3. Can I participate in a team?
    Yes, you can participate as a team but will be responsible for splitting the prize yourself in the event your skill is selected as a winner.

  4. What will I need to enter in this contest?
    - Create a MindSumo account.
    - Create an Amazon Developer account and an Amazon Web Services account.
    - Design, build, test, and submit your skill for certification. Skills that do not pass Amazon certification during the Certification Period will still be reviewed by the Judges but will not be eligible for points awarded to published skills. See the full contest rules below for details.
    - Submit your entry on this page including: 1) your full name, 2) school-affiliated email address, 3) school name, 4) current major, 5) graduation year, 6) name of your skill(s) and SKILL ID(s), 7) a description of how you created the skill including images, screenshots, and/or video and 8) a link to your source code via GitHub. Your SKILL ID can be found in your Amazon Developer Console: Alexa → Alexa Skills Kit → Your Skills → Skill Information → Application Id. The ID for your skill is unique and starts with amzn1.ask.skill. This will help Amazon accelerate the review process for certification.
    - Submissions must be eligible for publication, meaning they should comply with our content guidelines, should not be directed at children under 13, and cannot infringe third-party IP.

  5. What is the contest timeline?
    - Contest begin date: July 6, 2017
    - Contest end date: August 3, 2017
    - Certification period: August 4 to August 24, 2017
    - Winners announced: September 1, 2017
    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
  • Meets Deliverables
  • Creativity
  • Clarity
Reward Tiers
Top 10%
will share $1,000
Next 15%
will share $400
Next 25%
will share $200
Actual individual rewards will be based on the total number of eligible solutions.
$333.30 Picture?width=160 Purdue University
$333.30 C osmania
$333.30 Iw7h9quj normal
$100.00 S delhi
$100.00 M Swami Keshvanand Institute of Technology Management and Gramothan
$100.00 Square pic 60 me George Washington University
$100.00 Square pic 60 dsc 0019 01 Punjab Technical University
$28.60 J Universität Osnabrück
$28.60 R University of Oxford
$28.60 S Karunya University
$28.60 R karunya univeristy
$28.60 Square pic 60 12289483 861581940627585 8192099815443208585 n Stanford University
$28.60 Picture?width=160 AGH Univeristy of Science and Technology
$28.60 T Karunya University
Submission questions

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