Alexa Skill Idea

Jimmy, like some, is an only child to his parents. Jimmy is trying to be an adult and enjoy his college life by going out meeting new people and dating. However, Jimmy has a tiny problem that seems to always follow him, his mother. Being the only child Jimmy is constantly bombarded with texts, calls and emails from his mother. It’s not her fault she just misses her only baby.

Imagine Alexa solving Jimmy’s problem by having a skill that will send texts or emails to his mother. This skill will allow Jimmy to put in his schedule or set reminder and find a suitable time to inform his mother of his plans so she no longer has to keep checking in multiple times a day. A more advanced feature would have voice recordings that would call his mother and respond in his voice.

Week 2 Assignment

ABC News Update is published by ABC News Radio and is updated every hour. The ABC News Update is a newscast that includes the latest headlines at the time of publication. I chose this skill because I enjoy watching ABC’s World News Tonight and when I saw that this skill was published by ABC I expected something of similar quality. This skill’s “job” is to inform listeners of the most important things that are happening in the country and the world in two minutes or less. Many people struggle to get news because they don’t have time to sit and scroll through enough online content to inform themselves of every important subject in the news or they don’t have time to sit and watch an hourly newscast. This skill attempts to solve that problem by condensing every headline that hour into two minutes. From a design thinking perspective, this skill attempts to fulfill people’s desire to feel informed and engaged with what is happening in the world. The KRON4 News skill is a Bay Area news and weather flash briefing that is published by Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. I chose this skill because of its connection to the Bay Area, California. This news update is my favorite one because of the speaker’s conversational tone when delivering the news. The CNN Flash Briefing published by CNN Interactive Group, Inc. is another news update that I surveyed after discovering it under the recommended section. The CNN and ABC flash briefings were less appealing because the speaker sounded like they were yelling and speaking too fast for me to really comprehend what they were saying.

Task 3: Skills Survey

The new skills I will be surveying are Local News For San Jose, I’m Bored and Remind Me. I decided to choose my California news reference on San Jose because it only seemed fit being that I reside in San Jose. I found the coverage to be clear, concise and informative. It was a scripted podcast that featured local events or occurrences that have taken place during that day. It seems to be updated by giving the information in a timely manner. I have not tested it on breaking news. The publisher is Virtual News Center. It contains one one bad review that the stories seem to be repetitive. This content can be interesting to all adult ages that reside or work in San Jose.

The I’m Bored skill was chosen by accident. After stumbling upon it I found that it said it gives thought provoking facts. Indeed it did. I know this app has nothing to do with journalism, however, it does help with writer block because it gives you a quick break to refresh your ideas. However, from a product design perspective it seems to be exactly what people enjoy. It has about 53 reviews and majority of them are positive. They like that the facts are always different and vary on different subjects. The publisher is 3LayerBelly. All ages can enjoy this skills.

Finally, the last skill I have chosen was ABC7 Los Angeles. This skill gives worldwide coverage, but also, local and entertainment coverage. It is updated regularly and has very clear information that you can follow. However, this skill is read by Alexa and not from a real human voice. I think the news would be more retainable if there was human interaction. A human voice gives the story a more realistic feel especially if the coverage is traumatic. The publisher of this skill is ABC Digital. It has about five reviews and they are all negative because they did not like a computerized voice.

I believe all these skills were developed to try and to adapt to all listeners liking but they do need minor fixes and be able to reach a more empathic audience.

Local News For San Jose:

I’m Bored:

ABC7 Los Angeles:


Alexa Skills Review

The first skill I chose was the CNN Flash Briefing. CNN is one of the leading, if not the top of its class, in delivering accurate and timely news. I found the break down of news in bullet points to be very easy to listen to, as well as the speaker using minimalistic words and stating straight facts. The publisher of this skill is CNN Interactive Group, Inc. and the frequency of this publication is updated daily and in a timely manner. The CNN Flash Briefing brings the most recent and relevant in breaking and US news, entertainment and more.  

Upon further examination another skill I found was Rosetta Stone. I was highly ecstatic to enable this skill setting because I want to find multiple ways to increase my ability to learn Spanish. This skill now allows me to learn new Spanish words and have Alexa repeat the pronunciation so I know how to exactly pronounce the word or phrase correctly. I love the fact that she listens to exactly how I say the word to recognize that I am saying it right. The publisher of this skill is Rosetta Stone Ltd. The frequency of this app is limited to only a hand full of topics such as greetings, food and drink, directions. I figured this would be the case because Rosetta Stone is a program that is for sale.  

In conclusion, the last skill I found helpful and my favorite thus far is Guided Meditation: Meditation of the Day for Calm. This relaxing skill helps cope with anxiety, stress, depression, focus etc. It gives me the calming relaxation I need as a highly overworked and stressed college student. With managing being a student with two jobs and keeping up with my studies my workload becomes overbearing but Guided Meditation relieves me of that stress from three to eight minutes long by guiding me to center myself with breathing exercises. The publisher of this skill is Stop, Breathe & Think. The frequency of this skill is set to have about 60 different guided meditations.

Week 1 Assignment

The first skill that stood out to me was the NBA Flash Briefing, which is published by NBA Digital. The frequency publication of this skill is upgraded every day since the day and time of the basketball game changes daily. The NBA Flash Briefing provides the latest scores on the previous and upcoming basketball games. The skill also delivers information regarding the score and timing left in a basketball game while the match is taking place. The main reason I chose this skill is because I enjoy watching basketball and I prefer to be up to date with all the current matches. Overall, this skill was handy because it supplies the listener with just the right amount of information.

In addition, the second skill that caught my attention was Reuters TV, published by Thomas Reuters. The frequency publication of this skill alters every few hours because news is being delivered almost every couple of minutes. The Reuters TV app offers the listener with a five-minute update on the most current international and local affairs. The app provides the listener with a detailed explanation on the top political officials, the amount of people dying due to a bombing or the flu and several other facts. The reason that I chose this skill is because I want to be fully conscious of all that is taking place in the world so that I can take immediate action and raise and spread awareness through social media.

Finally, the last skill that I found captivating was Curiosity, published by The frequency publication of this skill changes every few days because new facts and topics are being found on a consistent basis. assembled The Curiosity app provides the listener with interesting facts on a variety of different topics including history, art, science and technology. This skill gives the listener a choice between two topics and then provides a thorough description on that particular subject. The listener receives an explanation which answers numerous details including the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “why.”  The main reason I chose to enable this skill is because it helps enrich my knowledge in several areas. I enjoy learning new facts and I want to pass on the information I obtained because that way awareness is raised.

  1. NBA Flash Briefing:
  2. Reuters TV:
  3. Curiosity:


New Class at SJSU

A new class is coming to San Jose State University in the winter of 2018. Students will learn the basics of audio journalism for publishing on a smart speaker ecosystem like Amazon’s Echo. The podcast was only the beginning of internet radio. The flash feed is a new way to publish audio, and this class is the first foray into a new field.