Blog

Portfolio Update

Here’s a sample from our Alexa skills portfolio.   There are posts on most of these in the blog, with links to the skill in your local Alexa Skill store.

To try a skill on your own Amazon Echo or other Alexa device, just use the launch phrase shown, or enable it in your Alexa app first.

 

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Pass Phrase

Pass Phrase generates memorable pass phrases to use in place of passwords for your online accounts.

UPDATE: [March 12 2019]  Pass Phrase now supports Alexa devices with a screen, such as Echo Show, Echo Spot and FireTV.   Check it out!

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Availability: US, UK, Australia, Canada and India.

Pass phrases are considered safer than passwords by many security experts, including the author of this skill, because they can be very long yet still memorable.   The skill suggests phrases by generating short, memorable sentences and numbers.  You can use the phrase as-is, or if your online account requires it you can add or remove parts of it, or insert punctuation characters.

They are also much more user friendly than passwords, because most people can read, then remember a few words long enough to enter them into a login page, without having to constantly re-check their notes.

Don’t forget to keep your pass phrases safe just like you would a password. Pass Phrase doesn’t store it and can’t get it back.

Things you can say:

“Alexa, ask Pass Phrase to get me a new pass phrase.”

The skill generates a short four-word pass phrase, and a random number.

“Repeat my pass phrase.”

After saying your pass phrase, the skill remembers it just long enough so that you can ask for it to be repeated if you are writing it down or typing it in.  Once you’ve asked for another, or ended the session, it’s gone!

 

Get Pass Phrase from your local Alexa Skill store: US, UK, Australia, Canada and India.

 

 

Scottish Facts

Scottish Facts is a skill to help you learn more about Scotland.  Whether you live here or are planning a future trip, this skill has lots of unusual information about this wonderful small country.  It’s very popular for children working on geography homework projects.

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Availability: US, UK, Australia, Canada and India.

 

Things you can say:

“Alexa, open Scottish Facts.”

The skill plays a brief piece of Scottish bagpipe music, and prompts you to request a fact.

“Repeat that fact.”

If the fact is long, or you missed some details, the skill will repeat the same fact again for you.

“Play the Scottish National Anthem.”

There isn’t an official national anthem for Scotland, because it is part of the United Kingdom.  However, the skill will play a short clip of Flower of Scotland, a rousing piece of bagpipe music widely used to represent Scotland at international events.

 

Get Scottish Facts from your local Alexa Skill store:US, UK, Australia, Canada and India.

 

 

Bedtime Prayers

Bedtime Prayers is a simple skill to encourage children and their families to include a short prayer in their regular bedtime routine.  To keep things interesting, the skill has a small library of short prayers, so children can anticipate which one it will be tonight, and also learn and develop favourites.

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Availability:  US and UK.

Things you can say:

“Alexa, ask Bedtime Prayers for a prayer.”

The skill picks a prayer at random, and reads it out slowly so that children can join in.

“Say the same prayer again.”

Sometimes the prayers are new, so children might like to hear the same one again and join in.  You can repeat the same prayer as often as you like just by asking, or just say “repeat that prayer”.

 

Get Bedtime Prayers from your local Alexa Skill store: US and UK.

 

 

Call Handler

Call Handler is a simple skill that handles two common phone call scenarios.

  1. Rejecting a telemarketer (or any unwanted caller) without getting annoyed.
  2. Stepping away for a moment to find a pencil & paper, or make coffee.

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Availability: US, UK, Australia, Canada and India.

Things you can say:

“Alexa, ask Call Handler to handle this call.”

The skill prompts you to set the phone down near your Alexa device, then starts talking to the caller and playing music.  After a while Alexa politely tells the caller you don’t want to continue the call, and plays a simulated disconnect tone.

“Alexa, ask Call Handler to play hold music.”

The skill plays a relaxing instrumental music track from its library.

 

Note: Call Handler does not actually disconnect the caller.  You should come back after a few minutes and actually hang up your phone.

Get Call Handler from your local Alexa Skill store: US, UK, Australia, Canada and India.

 

 

Excuse Me

Excuse Me generates excuses in case you are late, missed a meeting, need to get out of something, or just let people know that whatever went wrong, it wasn’t your fault!

Made with humour and over 166,000 possible excuses.

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Availability: US, UK, Australia, Canada and India.

 

Things you can say:

“Alexa, ask Excuse Me for an excuse.”

The skill chooses or generates an excuse.  You can then ask for more excuses as often as you like.  You are unlikely to hear the same one twice unless you ask for it to Repeat.

 

Get Excuse Me from your local Alexa Skill store:  US, UK, Australia, Canada and India.

 

 

 

WhosMyOwner

WhosMyOwner is a skill for users of popular lost property service WhosMyOwner.com

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Availability: UK (more countries coming)

Things you can say:

“Alexa, ask WhosMyOwner if anyone has found my keys.”

The skill checks your WhosMyOwner account to see if there are any recent “finder reports”, and reads them out for you.   Finder reports are entered by lost property agents, police officers, receptionists and the general public if your lost item is found or handed in.

“Alexa, ask WhosMyOwner to send me some labels.”

The skill asks the WhosMyOwner service to create a formatted sheet of labels with your personal reference code, and email them to you.

“Alexa, ask WhosMyOwner what’s my tag number.”

The skill asks WhosMyOwner for a list of tag references that you have activated, and reads them out.  Members can print and write their tag codes on anything they like, not just official WhosMyOwner key fobs and luggage tags.

Note: You’ll need to be a WhosMyOwner subscriber to make use of this skill.  You can link your WhosMyOwner to the skill when you first enable it.

WhosMyOwner is an easy, affordable way to make sure that anything you might lose can be returned to you, quickly and safely.  For more information, visit WhosMyOwner.com.

Get WhosMyOwner from the UK Alexa Skill store: UK