How can Alexa skill development help businesses?
With Alexa, Amazon offers a cloud-based voice service for smart speakers distributed by the company, such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, or Echo Spot. A smart speaker is a virtual assistant connected to the Internet that receives commands through a voice interface, allowing it to perform various interactions.
The intelligent speaker used to use Internet services-based audio and to manage devices connected via WiFi or Bluetooth through home automation technologies (smart home). The Alexa voice assistant already offers various basic functions in its initial programming. Thanks to voice commands, users can, for example, listen to music, request daily news, traffic information, weather forecast, or even manage their schedule. Combined with smart devices, Alexa offers a voice interface to control lamps, thermostats, or even smart plugs.
But other skills can be installed. In the Alexa Skills store, more than 50,000 skills from third-party developers are available to users. They can be activated for free. But if you’re creative, you can program your own Alexa skills using the Alexa Skills Kit and AWS Lambda. We show you how it works.
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What is an Alexa skill?
Alexa Skills program to be activated online which expands the range of functions of the Alexa voice service. From a technical point of view, an Alexa skill or Alexa “skill” consists of a user interface (the frontend) and a program logic (the backend). The front end of an Alexa skill can be any kind of smart device that supports the Alexa language service; for example, an Amazon Echo smart speaker or a properly equipped LG refrigerator. The logic of the backend program runs either on your server or on AWS Lambda, a data processing service provided by Amazon.
Better user experience with voice interface for businesses
Why should businesses develop an Alexa skill? One main reason seems obvious: to create real interaction with customers, oral communication is crucial.
With a computer, however, we always resort to intermediaries via the keyboard, for example, the mouse or the touch screen. But that will change soon. With Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri, the service comes down to dialogue. Objects become interlocutors and the way we interact becomes more intuitive.
The technology is still in its infancy, but the use of voice as a user interface (Voice as UI) is a trend that has the potential to fundamentally change the way we use machines. For businesses, a language service like Amazon Alexa offers many possibilities.
Use Alexa Skills for example to show that your business has stayed up to date. Present yourself in a modern way by giving your customers whole new possibilities for interaction. In France, Voice as UI still has the charm of novelty and can transform mundane activities into an experience.
As an Amazon product, Alexa enjoys enormous reach. Along with Google, the company dominates the smart speaker market. The smart speaker is still considered a revolutionary medium, as the voice interface opens up a completely new communication channel for marketing. In the area of customer service, Alexa provides the ability to personalize automated communication processes.
Virtual language assistants mainly focus on advisory functions. But in the future, the smart speaker may make various conversions possible, such as purchases by voice command. Your Alexa skill will then become a kind of virtual branch installed directly in your customers’ living room. Already, Amazon Prime members can make voice purchases through Amazon Pay.