We’re thrilled to announce the Alexa Skills Challenge: Tech for Good with Devpost, an opportunity for you to create an Alexa skill that has a positive impact on the environment, your local community, and the world. Your skill can be in any category, as long as it has a positive impact on customers.
In addition to creating a skill that benefits society, participants have the opportunity to compete for $122,000 in prizes, and the chance to direct a donation of $20,000 from Amazon to one of 11 nonprofit organizations.
Use Voice to Make a Positive Impact
Alexa skills can simplify almost any imaginable task through voice commands. This challenge is your opportunity to build skills that have a positive effect on the world, whether it be helping someone to save energy or helping those in need after a natural disaster strikes. For example, this year Amazon launched Alexa Donations with Amazon Pay, which enables customers to donate directly to charities through an Alexa skill. This is just one of many examples of how a voice experience can have a positive impact on society—your Alexa skill can be next.
Looking for inspiration? We believe great submissions for this challenge will have the following things in common:
- They solve a customer problem. For example, quality Tech for Good skills can help customers gain access to information faster or leverage public data and resources. By allowing customers to access more information via voice, they are able to complete tasks more efficiently.
- They inspire customers to learn and take action. For example, quality Tech for Good skills can influence customers to adapt and learn over time. By giving customers actionable tasks, using your skill is more likely to become a daily habit.
- They deliver a seamless user experience via voice. For example, quality Tech for Good skills are simple to use and understand. If your skill is too complex, you risk losing the customer’s attention and they will be less likely to use your skill again.
Check out the judging criteria at the bottom of the challenge page for more guidance.
What You’re Competing For
All eligible participants will take home an Amazon Echo Dot. In October, after the submission period ends, 10 finalists will be selected to participate in the second round and take home $5,000. During the final round, finalist skills will be promoted to Alexa customers across multiple channels to face off for the grand prize. The best skill from the finalist pool will take home the grand prize of $10,000 on top of their finalist prize and the ability the direct a $20,000 donation from Amazon to one of 11 nonprofits. Learn more about each nonprofits here.
More Ways to Win: Bonus Prizes
There are 11 additional bonus prizes across two categories—Content and Technical. You could be eligible to win up to one bonus prize in each category.
Content Bonus Prizes – Winners of these bonus prizes will receive $5,000 and need not be a finalist:
- Best Circular Economy Skill: Awards skills that focus on waste minimization, recycling, composting, and finding new uses for existing products. Also includes skills that help extend the life of products through repair or that help identify products that are long-lasting, repairable, and easily disassembled/recycled.
- Best Sustainable Transportation Skill: Awards skills that promote sustainable transportation, such as public transit, carpooling, nonmotorized transportation, alternative fuel or electric vehicles, and minimizing congestion.
- Best Natural Resource Efficiency Skill: Awards skills that seek to improve the efficiency of energy, water and other resources in the home, workplace, school, or public space.
- Best STEM Education Skills: Awards skills that promote student engagement with or the study of STEM-related fields, such as computer science, math, or physics.
- Best Disaster Relief Skill: Awards skills that seek to help, prepare, or guide people who live in areas impacted by natural disasters and skills that raise awareness and makes it easy for Amazon customers to help those impacted by natural disasters.
Technical Bonus Prizes – Winners of these bonus prizes will receive $2,000 and need not be a finalist:
- Best Skill Built by University Student(s) or US/Canada High School Student(s): The winning individual or team members must be age 13-18, and currently enrolled in a high school in the US or Canada.
- Best Use of Open-Sourced Data: Awards skills that make the best use of the resources listed on the “resources” tab of the challenge landing page.
- Best Skill for Echo Show & Echo Spot: Awards skills that is enhanced for Alexa-enabled devices with screens such as Amazon Echo Show or Echo Spot.
- Best Alexa Voice Service (AVS) Integration: Awards skills with the best integration of one or more AVS device(s).
- Best Use of Advanced Alexa Developer Features: Awards skills with the best integration of dialog management, entity resolution, memory (persistence), or CanFullFillIntent.
- Best Global English-Language Skill: Awards skills that were published in the US Alexa Skills Store and also published in the India, UK, or Australia Alexa Skills Stores.
All prizes are split between team members, or hoarded if the winning skill was built by just one person. To be eligible, skills must be submitted in English for the US Alexa Skills Store, and accompanied by a complete submission package.
Round 1 begins now! Publish your skill and submit your challenge entry to Devpost by September 17. Submit sooner and take advantage of more time to get customer ratings and feedback from friends and family to improve your skill as needed. In round 2, we will promote the 10 finalists’ skills and customer engagement will become part of the judging criteria. We’ll announce the winners in November.
Need more inspiration? Register for our upcoming webinar Tips for Building Great Alexa Skills for Good to learn best practices for building engaging skills that can have a positive impact.
Check out these additional resources to get started with your skill today:
- 10 Things Every Alexa Skill Should Do
- Tips for Promoting Your Alexa Skills
- Tips for Alexa Skill Certification
- Advanced Skill Building with Dialog Management
- Building for Echo Show and Echo Spot: VUI & GUI Best Practices
We look forward to seeing the amazing skills you build!
Source: Alexa Developer Blog