Rundown on Amazon Alexa, by Alexa champion Sam Machin
Yesterday at the South Wales AWS user group Sam Machin, the only current Alexa champion outside of the US, performed a talk on Amazon’s new service Alexa.
If you’re into Amazon and the products and services they release, then you’ve probably heard of the term “Echo” or “Alexa“. The key distinguishing factor between the two of these is that the Echo is a piece of hardware and Alexa is a service. Sam explained this relationship further by stating:
Echo is to Alexa what Siri is to iPhone.
Sam is a hacker at heart and has created an array of Alexa related projects. These including:
- The $10 Echo, a device built with Alexa functionality for $10.
- Alexa Web, a website designed for testing Alexa skills.
Sam showed his passion throughout the talk mentioning how he had overcome challenges from ‘hotword detection’ to using AWS Lambda for creating Alexa skills. Sam reiterated why he believed Alexa to be the best platform for such work, by stating:
Why do I think it’s better than Siri or Google Now? It’s that it’s the best for creating third party services.
The talk concluded by showing the range of products already out there that support Alexa. This ranging from smart kitchen appliances to smart watches.