We saw what you could do with Alexa and seeing the talk by Capital One made it obvious to us. We wanted to see the future and the only way to do that is by inventing it.
What it does
We built a skill for Alexa using Python as our backend and flask-ask to interact with and create the skill for Alexa. You can call commands such as "Alexa, show me my balance in Retirement", "Alexa ask banking to show me my financial report", "Alexa ask banking to remind me that I owe John £10", and "Alexa ask banking to buy me a chicken using account Credit Card"
How we built it
We built this over a 24 hour hackathon using Flask-ask, Python, Json and Requests. Arron and I worked on the backend side using the Capital One API. Ollie and Chris worked on the Alexa front end.
Challenges we ran into
The Alexa API regularly timed out due to poor wifi or other issues. To overcome this we set up a mobile hotspot to circumnavigate the bad internet.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Making Alexa understand and respond to requests made by humans. This was one of the more challenging aspects, despite the Alexa API supporting this. Because of the issues we had with the API it was difficult for us to develop a basic working Alexa application fast.
What we learned
We learned how to use object orientated design within Python and how to effectively work with the Alexa and Capital One API.
What's next for bank-of-alexa
Since Capital One only have a hackathon API we might not be able to develop much on it, however, the future of banking is clearly to bring it into the home and to use IOT devices such as Amazon Echo/Dot and we are glad to have been at the edge of technology.
Thanks to some good comments from Capital One, we will be continuing this project.