Inspiration

Initially, we wanted to connect Amazon Echo with Facebook Messenger. We found that to be a bit tricky with Facebook's strict API rules. Instead, we wanted to make an easy serach solution on Wolfram Alpha.

What it does

You may prompt your Amazon Echo and search the Wolfram Alpha computational engine.

How we built it

We used Amazon Web services along with the Amazon Developer Portal to create new skills, or commands, for Alexa (Amazon Echo). Using the Developer Portal allowed us to create sample utterances that Alexa could recognize as our commands. With Amazon Web services, we uploaded code to service the requests sent from Alexa. Using Wolfram Alpha's search engine API in Java, we fetch results from Wolfram and return them into speech.

Challenges we ran into

Wolfram Alpha's API only allows those who register for an AppID. The problem was, we didn't have an AppID until the start of this idea at HackISU. Each AppID takes 24 hours to fully register. We were not able to test code written until Sunday

What we learned

  • Register for API's sooner, anticipating delay.
  • Javascript/jQuery
  • Amazon Web services, specifically AWS Lambda
  • Amazon Development Portal, specifically Alexa Console

What's next for Echo UNLIMITED

  • Simplify queries for unique searches
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