I was recently invited to participate in developer promotion between Bloc.io and Amazon to publish three Amazon Echo skills. The first two skills of the project were template skills and the last one was one I had to do myself from scratch.
After throwing a few ideas around for my third skill, I asked a friend with an Echo if it could do date calculations. They said, "No". I was surprised, as it seems like something ideally suited for an ambient computing device.
What it does
- How many days is it until December 25, 2016?
- How many days are between today and July 4th, 2016?
- How many years, months and days are between today and July 4th, 1776?
- What day of the week does December 25, 2016 fall on?
- What is the date 45 days from now?
- What was the date 90 days ago?
- What is the date 6 weeks from now?
- What was the date 6 weeks ago?
- What is the date 9 months from now?
- What was the date 9 months ago?
How I built it
I also found Big Nerd Ranch's posts on creating Alexa Skills to be very helpful. Special thanks for Josh Skeen for his fantastic tutorials.
Challenges I ran into
It was also tough to develop a skill without having a physical device. Amazon's developer portal has a simulator where you can enter voice commands for your skill, though it's a lot easier to test with a physical device.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
What I learned
What's next for Date Ninja
Going forward, I'll update it according to user feedback.