We wanted to wanted to help our little cousins to have a fun way to improve their speech clarity, so we got together and created the Oliver's Adventures Skill.

Oliver's Adventures takes advantage of Alexa's NLP to encourage kids to speak more clearly. Sir Oliver is off on an adventure and he needs the player's help to shout for help, or relay messages, or simply say "hi." If Alexa can understand the response requested, the story continues. If not, the player is asked for a simpler phrase. If that is understood, or if not, the story moves on.

We built this using the Amazon Alexa SDK and javascript.

This is all new to us, so we ran into lots of challenges! The documentation and examples are helpful, but we could have used a lot more. We originally had Alexa "telling" the story, but everyone that listened to it, hated it! So, Jon and Nick spent time recording fun, short sections. However, chaining the player in with the emit doesn't always work. We did get it to work, but it would often break. We need to learn a lot more about how different situations are handled by Alexa.

It is a cool story and we can't wait for our cousins to have fun playing with it! Our whole family got into it at Christmas--laughing and making suggestions.

It is hard to work full time and learn a brand new technology, but we are getting better at it.

We have a scoring system built-in to award two stars for each first requested response which the Alexa understands and one star for each re-prompt understood by Alexa. We congratulate the player by telling them the number of stars they earned as they leave the story. We'd like to create a series of adventures with the help of a speech therapist to help practice certain sounds with increasing difficulty. We would like to personalize the stories.

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