Alexa Skills Challenge: Life Hacks

Expanding on the Technovation Challenge and our collaboration with Amazon, we are excited to share that we are working together to host an Alexa Skills Challenge this fall. The Alexa Skills Challenge: Life Hacks will be an opportunity for students to get direct, hands-on application of creating a voice-enabled Alexa skill to help make everyday tasks faster, easier, and more delightful for users. What is an Alexa Skill? Alexa is Amazon’s voice service and the brain behind the Echo family of devices including Echo Show and Echo Spot.

The Life Hacks Challenge invites you to build Alexa skills that can reduce workload, streamline tasks, support self-improvement, or improve lifestyle and health. Alexa defines a life hack as any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life. This can range from skills that help customers get a better night’s sleep, save money, drink more water, or cultivate a healthier mindset, to MacGyver-style expedient solutions to everyday problems, and more. Life hack skills can be in any category, as long as they improve an element of a user’s life. Submissions to the Life Hacks Challenge can be an improvement to an existing skill or an entirely new skill.

As an incentive for completing the challenge, anyone on a team that completes the Challenge will receive an Amazon Echo Dot (Kids Edition). This will let you use and show off the skill you just made in the comfort of your own home!

Register now

ALEXA CHALLENGE KEY DATES

Challenge Kick-off Event:

Saturday, September 29, 2018
10:30am – 12:00pm CT
Amazon Fulfillment Center
2601 4th Ave E
Shakopee, MN 55379

Challenge Tutorial:

Monday, October 1, 2018
5:00pm-6:30pm CT
Twitch Live Stream

Challenge Dates: October 1 – November 2, 2018

Skills must be submitted by 11:59pm CT on November 2, 2018.

Challenge Weekly Q&A Sessions:

Every Tuesday, starting October 9, 2018
3:00pm-4:00pm CT
Twitch Live Stream

  • Tues, October 9, 2018
  • Tues, October 16, 2018
  • Tues, October 23, 2018
  • Tues, October 30, 2018

Challenge Submission Date: November 2, 2018 by 11:59pm CT

A skill description, video demo, and other information must be submitted to technovation-challenge-2018@amazon.com by 11:59pm CT on November 2, 2018 to be considered. Participants under age 18 must have a parent or a legal guardian submit the skill package on their behalf.

Challenge Celebration Event:

Thursday, November 15, 2018
4:00pm-5:30pm CT
Amazon Corporate Office
323 N Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55401

 

ELIGIBILITY

  • A team consisting of 2 or more individuals who participated in the 2018 Senior Division Technovation Challenge are eligible to enter the challenge.
  • Individuals who are 13 to 17 years old must (1) have a parent or guardian submit their skill in the Amazon Developer Console on their behalf under that parent or guardian’s account, AND (2) provide a signed consent form from the parent or guardian and a signed consent form for all other minor(s) for whom the adult is submitting the skill.
  • Teams and individual participants must submit a completed skill in order to be able to attend in the Celebration Event as challenge participants and receive an Amazon Echo Dot (Kids Edition).

Download Alexa Consent Form
 

REQUIREMENTS

Main Requirement: Build (or update) and publish a skill that provides a convenience, saves time, or improves an everyday task in your life.

Submission Package: A skill description, video demo, and other information must be submitted to technovation-challenge-2018@amazon.com by 11:59pm CT on November 2, 2018 to be considered. For a complete list of requirements, see the Official Rules. Participants under age 18 must have a parent or a legal guardian submit the skill package on their behalf.

Certification: The skill must be submitted to the U.S. Alexa Skill Store by November 2, 2018 at 11:59pm CT and it must PASS certification by November 14, 2018 at 11:59pm CT to remain eligible.

 

HOW TO ENTER

HOW TO ENTER (AGE 18+)

  1. Register for the Alexa Skills Challenge: Life Hacks on Technovation[MN].
  2. Sign up for an Amazon Developer Account.
  3. Build your skill!
  4. Host your skill on AWS Lambda (recommended), or another hosting service of your choice. You may apply to receive $100 AWS promotional credit.
  5. Include your Skill ID from the Skill Information tab in your developer account.
  6. Shoot your demo video and take screenshots of your functioning skill. Create a video that includes footage that clearly explains your Alexa Skill’s features and functionality through a comprehensive demonstration.
  7. Submit your skill to technovation-challenge-2018@amazon.com AND submit your skill for U.S. Alexa Skill Store certification before November 2, 2018 at 11:59pm CT. Your skill must pass certification before November 14, 2018 at 11:59pm CT.
  8. Have questions? Contact us at technovation-challenge-2018@amazon.com.

 

HOW TO ENTER (AGE 13 – 17)

  1. Register for the Alexa Skills Challenge: Life Hacks on Technovation[MN]
  2. Ask your parent or guardian to sign for up an Amazon Developer Account.
  3. Ask your parent or guardian for help with your submission to technovation-challenge-2018@amazon.com. This will include providing a signed consent form enabling you to use their Amazon Developer Account. The submission form must include your Skill ID once you’ve built it. It will also include a demo video and screenshots of your functioning skill. Review the rules for video requirements.
  4. Build your skill!
  5. Host your skill on AWS Lambda (recommended), or another hosting service of your choice. You may apply to receive $100 AWS promotional credit.
  6. Include your Skill ID from the Skill Information tab in your developer account.
  7. Shoot your demo video and take screenshots of your functioning skill. Create a video that includes footage that clearly explains your Alexa Skill’s features and functionality through a comprehensive demonstration.
  8. Ask your parent or guardian to submit your skill to technovation-challenge-2018@amazon.com AND submit your skill for U.S. Alexa Skill Store certification before November 2, 2018 at 11:59pm CT. Your skill must pass certification before November 14, 2018 at 11:59pm CT.
  9. Have questions? Contact us at technovation-challenge-2018@amazon.com.

 

JUDGES

Panel of Judges

Lindsay Campbell, Robotics PR Manager (Amazon)
Jackie Underberg, Director, WW Engineering (Amazon)
Ari Silkey, Director, Optimus (Amazon)
John Russell, Director, Operations, MSP1 (Amazon)

 

JUDGING CRITERIA

  • Novelty & Quality of the Idea
    (including creativity and originality, and the extent to which the skill provides a convenience, saves time, or improves an everyday task)
  • Implementation of the Idea
    (including the user experience such as its ease-of-use, whether it performs as expected, includes fresh content, and more)
  • Potential Impact of the Idea
    (including the extent to which the skill is widely useful, might be customizable, might be extended to other scenarios, and more)
  • Quality of the Submission Package
    (including quality of the description, video demo, and any other materials submitted)

See Rules and Regulations

Register now