Inspiration

I wanted to create a skill that could be beneficial to people seeking information about the global and local counts of Covid-19. Up to date information is easily accessible, but having it available by voice and easily comparable between different countries seemed like a worthwhile endeavor.

It was important to me that it also include extra information for users with a screen in case they wanted more information.

What it does

You can lookup information about Covid-19 with updated information available every 15 minutes. The counts are sourced from multiple locations all around the world. Each search allows you to select up to five different countries to compare and a data type. If you have a screen, then all of the datatypes will be shown as well as other useful information that can help keep you informed and healthy as well as places to donate.

How I built it

I use an external API to source the up-to-date information and a chart creator to generate the chart images on the fly. This let's me display the data in an easy to read and understand format for users so that they have full information at their disposal.

Challenges I ran into

Being able to show the information in a unique and interesting way was a challenge because I wanted to show charts but html is not available. Also, learning the conversations system to build something that is both dynamic and constantly up-to-date was important.

Once I was able to overcome the issue with the graphs and charts, I expanded it to include a lot more information as well as videos and QR codes for users to easily interact with even more information from the CDC.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I'm glad that I was able to create something that gives users an easy way to lookup information as well as grants visual users useful charts.

What I learned

I learned how to build conversations to source and display useful data to users. The conversations are an amazing new feature that allows me to pass requests to Alexa to retrieve the data I need to display, and it made building this skill a lot easier.

What's next for Covid Stats

I plan on continually adding more features and improve on the existing features. Right now it allows you to search information at a global level, but I would like to be able to make this more focused to include information from the state level for US users.

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