Inspiration

People throughout the world find happiness as a community/state or a country, by remembering a great event that had happened in the past, present or a hope for a welcoming future. These pleasantries could have been a triumph in the past or to commemorate heroes or remember incidences or instances that paved way for a better future/ to be a better individual. Hence, festivals represent all these states in humanity. Hence the skill "World Festivals" is an application that has images, facts and some random sounds celebrating the festivals of the world.

What it does

World festivals gives information on different festivals , their facts and a short summary of the festival practices. Upon invoking the skill, a welcome message describes what to say to navigate through the skill. The skill displays images and also says facts about the various popular festivals that are celebrated in different countries. The skill has 10 free facts and an in-skill purchase that states 20 facts.

How I built it

"World Festivals" is built with Lambda functions using node.js, images stores in Amazon S3 and rendering of images in Alexa Display devices using APL. The images are retrieved from Amazon S3. The "alexa-sdk" and the amazon sound library is used to retrieve the facts/images and random sounds for the free as well as the in-skill monetized content. This application is localized in "US", "GB", "CA", "IN" and "AU". The Lambda function is stored in edge locations "us-east-1","eu-west-1" and "ap-southeast-1" for faster data retrieval. The interaction model in the alexa application uses both custom and Amazon built-in Intents. The APL Interface has experiences that combine visuals with voice on Echo Shows, Echo Spot, Fire TVs, and Fire tablets.

Challenges I ran into

The challenges that I ran into range from better visualization on various display devices , getting all the interaction model work effectively so that no conflict occurs in utterances and to finding the right content to monetize the skill with appropriate images and facts.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I was able to successfully get the skill certified and hope that the skill finds it use with the audience no matter the number.

What I learned

APL rendering, the skill flow, the nuances that can make the skill work. While doing research on the festivals, I also learnt the richness , diversity and the impact ( big or small) that these festivals have, which makes life enjoyable.

What's next for World Festivals

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