Inspiration

I'm a proud father and I love to antagonize my kids with tickles!

I figured why not combine my love of building apps with my love of chasing my kids around, so BOOM...

TICKLE MONSTER!!!

Why I love it

Often times, technology pulls people away from real human connection. Tickle Monster turns that on its head and uses Alexa to help bring families together in the real world!

What it does

You start by listing who all is playing. Mom? Dad? Kiddo? Significant other? Grandma? Grandpa? The whole crew!

From there, you simply say "Ask Tickle Monster 'who's next?'", and the Tickle Monster will pick a name at random to use as the next tickle target, announcing it with varied phrasing designed to build suspense!

How I built it

With heavy use of SSML tricks, including dramatic pauses, animated slide shows and different voices to make the Tickle Monster seem more like a separate personality within Alexa!

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Tickle Monster was my first ever published Alexa skill, and its original non-multimodal incarnation was mentioned in The New Yorker, Engadget, Venture Beat and the voice UX even popped up in a video with Mark Zuckerberg and Morgan Freeman!

What's next for Tickle Monster!

Going global with the help of my foreign language-speaking friends!

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