Cambridge Alexa Developers Meet up- Makespace Special!

Despite the typically bad British weather Makespace welcomed the Alexa development meet up on Wednesday night to discuss all things Voice control, not only Alexa.

The classroom was delighted to have Matt Case giving a talk on where Alexa is being used at the moment and where he believes this could be going. Ideas of Alexa on the go and at work where discussed. How can she be helpful when receiving notifications on the day-to-day and will Alexa make cross-country, and even cross-continent, conferencing easier. Matt, a BDM for Amazon Voice Service, led these conversations by saying that when using Alexa on your phone and listening to music, when instructed for certain messages or people, she would pause the music to read the notification and allow you to reply. Meaning you never miss a thing and you are able to have a better home-work life balance. There was also talk of having a more immersive television watching experience. For example being able to watch your baby monitor whilst your show, or the adverts play. Through all this talk on what’s to come there was also practical discussions about what Alexa app developers are going to have to adhere to when creating new apps and how having Alexa on non-Amazon devices will work.

Bob Harris, the host of the Alexa Development group and CTO & Co-Founder of Veni Loqui. Veni Loqui’s at using Voice technology to help alleviate loneliness and those suffering from dementia (Veni Loqui has over 10 live skills in the Alexa Skills store to date). He then gave us insight in to how Amazon Voice Service work on a Raspberry Pi. This worked surprising well for Bob and he began a discussion about using Alexa for battling loneliness in our country. He wants to develop sensory movement triggering and Alexa command, for example when the door opens in your home Alexa would ask ‘Have you not your keys?’. This was of great interest as we would then be able to use Alexa to help the elderly or disabled in our community. Bob later introduced ‘Snips’ , an alternative to Amazon’s Alexa where you are able to create your own voice recognition device. This device griped the interested to the rooms and saw some great ideas for its uses and how to improve what is already out there.

Lastly, the meet up ended on a more funny note. Steven Goodwin has developed Pimania for Alexa. Steven is a game develop and for this project put together his passion for voice technology and skills in game creations. The talk took us through the steps of taking the video game from code to voice. Steven showed us the light side of Alexa, yes she can help at home, at work, with the elderly and the disabled but Alexa can also be used for fun and nostalgia!

The evening was full of laughter, sharing and learning. Thank you for everyone who contributed to the event- we can’t wait to have you back! 

Cambridge Alexa Developers Meet up- Makespace Special!
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