My first Alexa skill!

What is an Alexa Skill?

An Alexa skill makes your life easier by helping you perform your daily tasks faster and more efficient. Want the news? Ask Alexa. Wondering if you should bring an umbrella today? Ask Alexa! Want a fact to start your day? Ask Alexa! Alexa can simplify your life if you just ask her.

I created a skill!

When I was in Japan a couple of years ago, I vowed to come back with a pantry full of matcha! Matcha everything? Yes, please! I am obsessed with matcha. Matcha is apart of my life. With my obsession, I decided to create a fact skill about this magical goodness. It is no ordinary matcha facts. ADDED BONUS: MATCHA PUNS! It was pretty interesting to learn about something that I consume everyday! If you want to know more about matcha, check out my video of me demoing my skill on the Echo Dot! If you have Alexa and you want to learn for yourself simply say “Alexa, open matcha facts.”.

Skill Demo Video

Do you think it’s a matcha?

I tried different ways to open the skill, but the only one that worked was “Alexa, open matcha facts”. It was frustrating when Alexa repeated some of the facts.

The Challenges?

The most challenging part about creating the skill was figuring out what kind of facts I wanted Alexa to learn. Most of the facts that I was thinking of was already available on the market. I wanted to do something fun, not typical. Another challenge I had with creating my skill was figuring out how to create pauses in between words, or emphasizing a phrase. Coding is such a foreign language to me and it was very intimidating at first. Luckily, my significant other is a code wiz and came to my rescue! When I was testing the skill, Alexa was repetitive on the facts and it was frustrating to go back and forth on the code to get it right. There are a few tweaks that I want to make for a better flowing experience.

EUREKA!

When the code finally made sense, I was able to add pauses where they needed to be. That was a major accomplishment. I think this was a fun fact skill because there are a lot of puns. I wanted to throw a curve ball with the facts. I hope someone who loves matcha as much as I do will enjoy the silly humor. I can’t believe I created an Alexa Skill. I use my Echo Dot every day. It is so cool to know that my facts skill is accessible on the market! So go ahead, call Alexa, and have her to open matcha facts!