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Alexa Skills Projects

Book Description

Get up and running with the fundamentals of Amazon Alexa and build exciting IoT projects

About This Book
  • Gain hands-on experience of working with Amazon Echo and Alexa
  • Build exciting IoT projects using Amazon Echo
  • Learn about voice-enabled smart devices
Who This Book Is For

Alexa Skills Projects is for individuals who want to have a deep understanding of the underlying technology that drives Amazon Echo and Alexa, and how it can be integrated with the Internet of Things to develop hands-on projects.

What You Will Learn
  • Understand how Amazon Echo is already being used in various domains
  • Discover how an Alexa Skill is architected
  • Get a clear understanding of how some of the most popular Alexa Skills work
  • Design Alexa Skills for specific purposes and interact with Amazon Echo to execute them
  • Gain experience of programming for Amazon Echo
  • Explore future applications of Amazon Echo and other voice-activated devices
In Detail

Amazon Echo is a smart speaker developed by Amazon, which connects to Amazon's Alexa Voice Service and is entirely controlled by voice commands. Amazon Echo is currently being used for a variety of purposes such as home automation, asking generic queries, and even ordering a cab or pizza.

Alexa Skills Projects starts with a basic introduction to Amazon Alexa and Echo. You will then deep dive into Alexa Programming concepts such as Intents, Slots, Lambdas and maintaining your skill's state using DynamoDB. You will get a clear understanding of how some of the most popular Alexa Skills work, and gain experience of working with real-world Amazon Echo applications. In the concluding chapters, you will explore the future of voice-enabled applications and their coverage with respect to the Internet of Things.

By the end of the book, you will have learned to design Alexa Skills for specific purposes and interact with Amazon Echo to execute these skills.

Style and approach

A practical guide filled with real world examples that will help you understand the process of creating Alexa Skills from scratch and it's real world applications.

Downloading the example code for this book You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at http://www.PacktPub.com. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit http://www.PacktPub.com/support and register to have the files e-mailed directly to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright and Credits
    1. Alexa Skills Projects
  3. Dedication
  4. Packt Upsell
    1. Why subscribe?
    2. PacktPub.com
  5. Contributors
    1. About the author
    2. About the reviewer
    3. Packt is searching for authors like you
  6. Preface
    1. Who this book is for
    2. What this book covers
    3. To get the most out of this book
      1. Download the example code files
      2. Download the color images
      3. Conventions used
    4. Get in touch
      1. Reviews
  7. What is Alexa?
    1. The Need for Voice-Based Personal Assistants
    2. Applications of Voice-Based Personal Assistants
      1. Siri
      2. Google Now
      3. Cortana
      4. Alexa
    3. A Comparison of Various Voice-Based Personal Assistants
    4. Summary
  8. Hello World, Alexa!
    1. An Introduction to Amazon Echo
      1. Amazon Echo – First Generation
      2. Amazon Echo – Second Generation
    2. Anatomy of an Alexa Skill
      1. Invocation Name
      2. Intents and Slots
      3. Lambda
    3. Hello Alexa – Building a Hello World Alexa Skill
    4. Summary
  9. Hands-Free Experience with Alexa
    1. Overview of the Handsfree Messenger Skill
    2. Configuring the Twilio Messaging Backend
    3. Configuring the Handsfree Messenger Skill
      1. Coding the Lambda function
      2. Testing the Skill
    4. Summary
  10. Let's Play Factly with Alexa
    1. Motivation for Designing Factly
    2. Designing the Factly Skill
    3. Building the Factly Skill
      1. Configuring the Lambda function
      2. Coding the Lambda function
      3. Adding Persistence to Factly
      4. Updating the Factly Lambda Code to Introduce Persistence
      5. Testing the skill
    4. Summary
  11. Making Alexa Talk About CryptoCurrencies
    1. A Brief Introduction to Cryptocurrencies
    2. Designing the CryptoOracle skill
    3. Building the CryptoOracle skill
      1. Configuring the Lambda function
      2. Coding the Lambda function
      3. Testing the skill
    4. Summary
  12. Home Automation with Alexa
    1. Introduction to Home Automation and Ambient Sensors
    2. Designing the Ambience Manager Skill
    3. Developing the Mobile App
      1. Setting up Firebase
    4. Developing the Ambience Manager Skill
      1. Configuring the Lambda function
      2. Coding the Lambda function
      3. Testing and debugging the Skill
    5. Summary
  13. The Future of Voice-Based Personal Assistants
    1. Popular Alexa Skills
      1. Games and Trivia
      2. News
      3. Music and Audio
      4. Education and Reference
      5. Lifestyle
    2. Comparing Various Voice-Based Assistants
      1. Amazon Echo
      2. Google Home
      3. Apple HomePod
    3. Future of Voice-Based Assistants
    4. Summary
  14. Other Books You May Enjoy
    1. Leave a review - let other readers know what you think