Ubiquitous computing and voice first interaction used to be a thing only seen in
movies and series such as Star Trek (Computer), Knight Rider (KITT), and 2001: A
However, over the last couple of years, these concepts are entering the consumer and
business market through
such as Apple's Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.
I love building human-computer interaction without the use of screens and keyboards,
so when I first
got my hand on an Amazon's Echo Dot, I couldn't
resist experimenting with the usability of voice first interaction by solving
use cases. The result thus far is two published skills for Dutch users of Amazon
NOS News and
To make Alexa even smarter for Dutch news junkies,
I’ve published an Alexa flash briefing skill for listening to the NOS news bulletin.
You can add the NOS News to your flash briefing via the Alexa app, which allows you
to listen to the
latest radio bulletin on your Echo by saying "Alexa, what's in the news?".
The news stream is updated hourly by the NOS, so
you’ll always get the latest radio broadcast when you ask Alexa what’s in the news.
Do you also find it virtually impossible to find and play Dutch radio station using
Alexa's TuneIn service?
To solve this problem, I've published the Dutch Radio skill which brings the best
of Dutch radio stations to your Alexa enabled device.
Start listening to Dutch radio by simply saying "Alexa, play Dutch Radio".
Both skills are built using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) and
are taking full advantage of Amazon Web Services (AWS).
All services for the skills are implemented as Lambda functions on AWS written in
Node.js. Images and the flash briefing JSONs are stored on S3 and served via
Dutch Radio's stream and session data are stored in DynamoDB tables.