A new Alexa skill at the time when we need it the most. While most of us are staying back at home with little or no communication with the outside world, this skill can bring us some joy and hope. Wherever we are, this Alexa skill that can help lighten the mood, and make us feel stronger.

What it does

This Alexa skill chooses a random joke or a random inspirational thought, and speaks it out to the audience alongside some relaxing music in the background. Just ask Alexa for an inspirational thought or a joke, and wait to be surprised.

How we built it

We used AWS lambda serverless architecture to listen to requests sent to the Alexa skill. The lambda function runs code to choose a random thought or a joke, and reads it out to the audience. We used APL templates to create the visual display and used APL for Audio to add light music in the background.

Challenges we ran into

Some of the challenges we ran into were making sure the content was safe for all audiences. Also, incorporating serverless architecture and integrating with APLs brought a few surprises, but navigating through these problems was both challenging and fun.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud that this skill is very lightweight and still expected to meet the criteria that customers would want it in the present times.

What we learned

Alexa templates for visual display are very handy, but they have their own limitations when creating the UI, so it is a good idea to check them out ahead of time so you can design the app accordingly.

What's next for Inspire and Joy

We want to expand the database for this app. Additionally, we would like to incorporate other ideas that can help keep audiences motivated and joyful, like short inspirational stories.

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