Inspiration

I'm a single dad and veteran of developing Alexa skills like "The Tickle Monster Game!" and experimental skills for work.

When My kids are at my house, they sometimes want to remind Mommy to drop something by, or just send an occasional sweet message.

Till now, this meant borrowing my phone to call or text. However, the logistics are sometimes awkward and confusing to Mom, plus my younger kids can't text message because they don't know how to spell.

Enter Mommy-gram!

What it does

Mommy-gram lets kids send and receive SMS messages to Mom, through Alexa, using only their voice.

Mom's phone can be iOS, Android or "other", and the communication is 2-way, going beyond Alexa's limited built-in capabilities.

On the kids' side, there's no additional phone to buy and no additional cell plan needed for their own SMS text messaging with Mom!

Kids simply speak a simple voice command, Mom gets a text, then she can write back!

How I built it

The experience is a mashup of an Alexa voice skill and an SMS chatbot. An account linking process associates Mom's cell number with the Alexa skill, at which point the family chatting can begin!

The skill even incorporates Alexa's new notifications feature to make it easy for kids to see when Mom wrote back!

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

With Mommy-gram, I was able to combine multiple platforms to make a holistic experience that leapt device boundaries.

What makes me proudest is that my kids love using the skill to talk to Mom (without me forcing them to)!

It turned out to be a great example of using technology to connect families!

What's next

Why, Daddy-gram, of course!

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