Inspiration

When my child was in fourth grade, math operations using fractions was introduced in school. This motivated me to create the Alexa Skills "Kidz Fractions". By categorizing 'Fractions' in to easy, medium and hard level, the skill provides an aid to enable learning and progress to the next level.

What it does

"Kidz Fractions" has questions on adding fractions. The questions are categorized in to easy, medium and hard. The skill provides hints for solving the addition of fractions. User can skip to skip the question, say hint or repeat . One requirement of this skill is that the answers for the questions need to be in the fraction format - number by number. Even if the answer is 2 or 1, the user has to say 2 by 1 or 1 by 1.

How I built it

"Kidz Fractions" uses Alexa's APL, APLA and experiments with some basic motion sense feature of Alexa. The skill is available for download in display and non-display Alexa devices. The skill is available in locales "en-US" and "en-UK". "Kidz Fractions" has APL and APLA interface enabled for Multimodal , random and mixed sound experiences. The mixer type sound effect for some intents combine visuals for voice on Echo Spot, Echo Show 5, Echo Show 1st Gen and Echo Show 2nd Gen devices with sounds along with speech. The skill uses Amazon's built-in intents and few custom intents to design an responsive interaction model. The logic and facts data are programmed using node.js and stored in the server-less Lambda application in the us-east-1 region. The image(s) for display is stored in Amazon S3 bucket. The skill also uses various sound effects from the sound cloud - "soundlibrary". The skill also uses on experimental basis the word "Kidz Fractions" to enable motion for the device.

Challenges I ran into

To experiment APLA functionality within the skill, I had to go through the documentation and try and implement the various types of sound effects from Selector,Sequencer and Mixer. The developer testing console initially, did not work for APLA and I had to raise a ticket to solve the issue. I had to implement both APL and APLA and try out different combinations in order to test the skill. Finally, I did have success in getting APLA enabled for few intents.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

The skill "Kidz Fractions" was available on non display devices. I am happy that I could update the skill to enable APL , APLA interface for multimodal experience to combine visual and sounds with voice. I also tried to experiment with basic Motion & Sensing APIs and got the skill certified.

What I learned

Technically and non-technically through research, I had the opportunity to learn a lot from completing the skill. The use of APL, APLA and basic motion and sensing for display devices, skill implementation through research, using the necessary sounds from the sound library.

What's next for Kidz Fractions

If "Kidz Fractions" is able to generate good traction with the users, then I can enable in-skill purchasing . Also, I can extend the usage of APLA to other intents and add more sound effects within the skill.

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