Inspiration

Have you ever been in a situation where you have to share a place with 4 other roommates and nobody wanted to re-supply the dish soap? or buy salsa & chips? and not having a clear communication who would pay for trash bags next month?

To clarify the ambiguity among the roommates, we teach Alexa a new skill set to make a budget for the house, keep track of all of the common necessities, and control their expenses. We hope that the user will have better financial planning and stay within their monthly budget.

What it does

Alexa becomes the financial gatekeeper and gathers all the needs that are commonly shared (e.g. Dish soap, Detergent, Soft Drinks, Beers, Sofa, etc..)

To achieve these goals, here are some skills set that we have developed for Alexa:

  • Set Budget Amount
  • Add Items
  • Add Items' Prices
  • Show Shopping List
  • Analysis of " Can I afford this item?"
  • Updating the Total Amount

How we built it

Alexa Budgeting Center was built using the Alexa Developer. It involved python and AWS languages. We also have one dedicated person to create the concept of how the final product UI will look like.

Challenges we ran into

First, we spent 2-3 hours finding an idea that had a lot of pain points in society. We would like to keep our focus on an idea that can be easily scaled. Then, we spent the next 10 hours (not including sleep) to learn how to use the software from the Alexa Developer tutorial. Finally, we looked into possible customization on Amazon Echo when we started the Alexa Budgeting Center program

Accomplishments that we're proud of

3 out of 4 people were a first-timer in Hackathon. None of us were studying Computer Science/Engineering. Our program worked good and it could capture multiple scenarios.

What we learned

Having experiences in using APIs would help a lot. Too bad none of us had that kind of encounter before this event. Attending seminars might give you great inspiration or prepare you better for the pitch.

What's next for Alexa Budgeting Center

We wanted to integrate the program with Amazon Retail but no APIs were made for public use. Alexa Budgeting Center would have predictive analysis once the users start to buy and it would connect directly to Amazon.com. The payment could be split among the tenants equally so everybody would contribute the same amount.

At the end of the day, we were really happy with the results and had good experiences. Kudos to the organizer!

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