With this in mind, we embarked on an initiative to create a new Alexa skill for the Mexican market. As Amazon prepares to launch in Spanish, we invited all Wizeliners to pitch an idea for useful skills that can be executed through voice conversations.
The challenge was designed to be completed in multiple product development sprints. This approach allowed teams the time to work on their project, while still tending to their client project work.
An Opportunity to Upskill
We organized special workshops as part of the challenge, where participants learned best practices in voice design. The sessions covered topics such as designing for voice interfaces, as well as how to integrate with external API’s so the Alexa skill can pull content from different sites. Amazon supported with resources that illustrate how Alexa skills offer a new approach to solving business problems. We also had an Innovation Frameworks session to learn how to boost user engagement.
The teams consisted of software engineers and project managers. We matched each team with a software engineering mentor. These mentors provided guidance for hitting key milestones, such as finalizing conversation flows and testing on a local server to assure the Alexa skill responds properly to all commands.
Projects included creative skills for blockchain reporting, food recipes, and using an elevator assistant. At the end of the challenge, all teams presented their pitches and we selected three winning projects:
An assistant for managing conference rooms. This Alexa skill enables seamless scheduling of meetings by communicating a simple phrase to an Echo device. Engineers: José Almaraz González, Dalia De Felipe Vargas, Maytee Sánchez, Diana Sánchez Urbán, Luis Daniel Acevedo, Mentor: Saul Ortigoza
A new car feature that allows a user to ask for directions to the convenient gas station based on current prices. Engineers: Alan Rodriguez, Gustavo Córdova, Juan Carlos Pérez, Antonio Fregoso Mora, Mentor: Luis Amador
A DevOps assistant to monitor the cost of the infrastructure used with just a voice command. Engineers: Aaron Arredondo Sanchez, Antonio de Jesus Santiago Dueñas, Hector Murrieta Bello, Jaime Gutiérrez Sosa, Mentor: Andrés Villavicencio
At Wizeline we make it a priority to experiment and discover new ways to approach technology. We will continue to host more challenges and exercises that allow us to explore technology solutions that improve our day-to-day lives. Stay tuned for the next challenge!