We wanted to work with voice-recoginition technology and had a vision of an electronic kiosk on campus that would be able to answer questions about the school, such as where specific rooms were and what events were going on around campus.

What it does

We used an Amazon Echo to implement the voice recognition and to respond to questions asking where buildings were and how to get there.

How we built it

Initially, we planned to use a Raspberry Pi and a microphone to implement the idea. However, we had the opportunity to work with the Amazon Echo so we used Amazon Web Sevices and Alexa to create our application for Amazon.

Challenges we ran into

The main challenge we ran into was learning how to use different Amazon Web Services to create an application that the Amazon Echo could use. Since we were unfamiliar with it, we had to spend most of our time learning how the different services worked to power Alexa, Amazon's personal assistant. Other challenges included making time to go to all of the hackathon events and talking to other participants and sponsors.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

As this was our first hackathon, we are proud that we were able to make something with a purpose and although it may not be ready to implement on campus, we were satisfied with the work we were able to produce, given our limited experience and smaller team size.

What we learned

Aside from technical knowledge gained, we learned a lot about the design process and what it takes to make an idea into a working application.

What's next for UTD Directions

It is unlikely that the both of use will be able to get our hands on an Amazon Echo to mess around with, however, we plan to take the things that we have learned and better apply them to future endeavors. The Alexa "skill" is currently under the certification process from Amazon that will determine if it is ready for the public.

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