Our inspiration came from two aspects. Firstly, when my mum was organising old family photos to be digitally scanned and sending them over WhatsApp, three questions kept cropping up; when were the photos taken? Where were they taken? And who was in the photos? Photos contain memories and it’s important for people to be reminded of these memories.
Our second inspiration came from care homes and senior living properties using Alexa devices. Due to Covid restrictions or physical distances it is sometimes not possible for family and friends to visit. Therefore, we wanted to create something which could be used at any time with input from loved ones to maintain that connection. Furthermore, and linking to our first inspiration point, our elderly loved ones often begin to experience memory loss, sometimes sadly dementia, and we feel this Alexa skill's quiz prompt function, which you can read more on below, gives them a reminder of the memories they had
We felt that both aspects were ideal for the ‘Let's Connect’ category
What it does
‘Memories’ allows friends and family members to upload pictures, video and audio content to an Alexa skill to be viewed by a loved one in a different location. At the same time, three key pieces of information are uploaded. ‘Where’ and ‘when’ the pictures or video were taken, and ‘who’ features in them. This uploading of information allows the user to have use of the quiz function with the Alexa skill after viewing the photos/ videos.
This gentle gamification element helps the end user be slowly reminded about the memories within the images / video uploaded. There is no scoring or winning element, as such as the aim is to help the user trigger their memory on key details about the pictures and video.
The audio element is a summary of what the friend or family member remembers and tells the end user a story about the photos/ video content.
We have also built a slideshow mode where there is no quiz element and the user can relax and view.
How we built it
Check list ‘Memories’ was one of twelve ideas we that we created. However, it came out top from our check list as to what makes a great voice experience.
Happy Path scripts in word document to get something on paper and read out loud.
Voiceflow with a working prototype allowed some quick internal and external testing.
Development using Jovo framework for building Alexa skill was undertaken by Rikesh Balakrishnan.
Testing & Amends – We tested this skill internally and then with external users, who flagged a few conversational changes and bugs to be fixed.
Challenges we ran into
Due to the tight deadlines, we do not have the full account linking process in place, where any user can create an account on a website and then Account Link to the Alexa Skill. For now, we have built this skill with a standard content experience.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Overall, we were pleased to bring this idea to life so quickly and get it tested with two external users who gave us positive feedback.
What we learned
We learnt that we needed to use the right tone of voice when telling the user they had the incorrect answer/ e.g. "nearly, the photos were taken in 1995" rather than a more traditional quiz text e.g. "incorrect, the correct answer is 1995"
This was so it did not dishearten the users who may have trouble remember the photos and videos as it can be a sensitive experience.
What's next for Memories
- Full account linking process - using the new voice account linking process
- Custom Routines setup via voice
- Gathering feedback from the user after each set of images / video which then can be seen by the family / friend
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