The evolution of User Interfaces has been amazing. From Command Line Interface (CLI) to Graphical User Interface (GUI) to the new era of Voice-enabled User Interface, there is a paradigm shift in how users interact with a system (or vice versa).
The wave of VUIs started off with personal assistants in mobile phones, namely Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, which are designed to respond to different commands of users, and even converse with them. Amongst these popular VUIs, the one that comes with extended capabilities is Alexa.
Amazon Alexa is a voice-activated personal assistant that allows users to speak their Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and other Amazon smart home devices. By default, Alexa comes with some basic capabilities such as playing music, reading the latest news, pulling up the weather etc. However, this is not the only thing that can be done with Amazon Alexa. By building Alexa Skills, businesses can give more abilities and power to Alexa to help, entertain, and inform the users. But, what exactly are these Alexa Skills?
Alexa Skills are basically apps that enable Alexa to connect to hardware and software to perform certain tasks. These tasks may range anything from managing smart devices, connecting to favorite music through different on-demand music channels, identifying nearby restaurants and places etc. In the later segment, we will discuss different types of Alexa Skills that can be developed and how to get started with Alexa Skills Development.
1. Smart Home Alexa Skills
Alexa skills can be built to control smart devices. For example: In a hotel room, Alexa can help guests control room temperature, switch on-off the lights/ television, manage smart lights/locks etc. All that guests have to do is, Ask Alexa to do so.
2. News and Information Skills
Alexa skills can be developed for rendering the latest news and information to users. For example, Alexa can provide a quick update of the latest news, which it pulls from preferred sources, such as The Wall Street Journal, Fox News etc.
Similarly, Alexa skills can be developed to keep the users informed about their schedules and status like train and bus schedules. Users can also find nearby restaurants, check traffic status on a route, or find a store (by defining its opening hours).
3. Educational Alexa Skills
Another type of Alexa skill that can be developed is educational skills. An example of such a skill is Spell Master, which spells a word loud when asked by a user. Similarly, educational skills can be developed for students to answer general knowledge questions, or questions from their syllabi according to their grade level.
Alexa Skill Development: Getting Started
The above examples illustrate that irrespective of the industry, Alexa can have a use case for every business. If you are planning to emploer your business with Voice-enabled user interface, then contact out VUI-expert Gaurav Sharma to understand Alexa use cases for your business.