The inspiration for daily stretch came one morning whilst working from home. Having to sit at a desk all day straight can often leave the body feeling really stiff, especially if you’ve done a home workout in the morning! For many of us, the idea of doing short & simple stretches throughout the day during work breaks is very appealing, but when it comes down to it, the effort and time it would take to finding a quick stretch online (without getting distracted by social media!) means stretching is bumped down the priority list. But we thought that if the barrier to searching & finding a suitable stretch was reduced, by removing the need to search on online, people would actually start to stretch during their 5 minutes breaks. With this is mind, we created the Alexa Skill daily stretch!
What it does
Daily stretch walks you through easy stretches to do at home for different parts of the body. Whether it's as break as you're working from home, or to unwind before going to bed, use daily stretch to relieve those tight muscles and shake off the day!
2 WAYS TO USE THE SKILL:
Requesting a specific stretch: “Alexa, ask daily stretch for an ankle stretch / calf / hamstring / quad / hip / glute / hip / hip flexor / side / back / lower back / upper back / arm / tricep / shoulder or neck stretch”
Requesting the stretch of the day by saying “Alexa, open daily stretch.” After the 1st stretch, the skill will offer 5 other random stretches to complete a series, lasting about 8 minutes. Of course if you only have 5 minutes, you can just ask Alexa to stop after the 3rd stretch!
ECHO SHOW/SPOT If you have an echo show or spot, follow along more easily by reading about the stretch too.
How we built it
The Alexa Skill is built on AWS Lambda using NodeJS and the Jovo Framework.
Challenges we ran into
Making the instructions suitable for audio only was tough! To do this, we use SSML to slow Alexa’s voice down for the more complicated stretches. We also had to test the stretches a lot, figuring out where to put the break tags so that users would have time to get into position.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Shooting and editing the video, and creating echo show images
What we learned
To make sure people could follow along with audio only, we studied how content was written for visually impaired people. For example, if you are describing a move it’s important to list the outcome (where you should feel the stretch), before the instructions.
What's next for Daily Stretch
Adding a lot more stretches for existing body parts to give users more variety Adding functionality so users can request different types of series. For example a 5-stretch series focused on areas of the body, like the legs. Keeping score of how many stretches users have been completed, and having bonus content to unlock if users complete a series every day of the working week