All you need to know about Alexa

Unlike Siri for IoS and Google assistant, Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon, first used in the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Dot devices developed by Amazon Lab126. It is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, and other real time information, such as news.

Alexa can also control several smart devices using itself as a home automation system.

Alexa has thousands of skills with more added regularly. Skills add even more capabilities like ordering food from Zomato, requesting a ride from Ola, booking a carpenter from Urbanclap and more.

Home automation
In the home automation space, Alexa can interact with devices from Belkin Wemo, ecobee, Geeni, IFTTT, Insteon, LIFX, LightwaveRF, Nest Thermostats, Philips Hue, SmartThings, Wink and Yonomi.


Alexa allows the user to hear updates on supported sports teams. A way to do this is by adding the sports team to the list created under Alexa’s Sports Update app section.

Messaging and calls


Amazon allows developers to build and publish skills for Alexa using the Alexa Skills Kit.

Amazon allows device manufacturers to integrate Alexa voice capabilities into their own connected products by using the Alexa Voice Service (AVS), a cloud-based service that provides APIs to interface with Alexa.

Not just this there is a special competition called Alexa Prize 

In September 2016, a university student competition called the Alexa Prize was announced for November of that year. The prize is equipped with a total of $2.5 million and teams and their universities can win cash and research grants. The process starts with a team selection in 2016, final award will be announced in 2017. The 2017 inaugural competition focuses on the challenge of building a socialbot.

The sponsored teams will receive a $100,000 stipend, Alexa-enabled devices, free Amazon Web Services (AWS) services to support their development efforts, and support from the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) team.




12 great free online courses

TED Blog

Much ado has been made in recent years over the quickly rising cost of healthcare in the United States. But the cost of college tuition and fees has skyrocketed at nearly twice that rate. Going to college today will cost a student 559% more than it did in 1985, on average.

In an exciting talk given at TEDGlobal 2012, Stanford professor Daphne Koller explains why she was inspired — alongside fellow professor Andrew Ng — to create Coursera, which brings great classes from top universities online for free. Coursera classes have specific start dates, require students to take quizzes and turn in assignments, as well as allowing professors to customize their course into online chunks rather than simply recording their lectures.

When she spoke at TED Global, Coursera offered classes from four top colleges — Princeton University, the University of Michigan, Stanford University and the University of…

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The App Market’s Big Data Challenge

Kiran Kumar

The App Market’s Big Data Challenge The App Market’s Big Data Challenge

The smartphone revolution has changed our lives. For millions of people, smartphones have become essential, and the actual function of making a phone call with your phone is just another important feature. We now use our phones for a variety of tasks, from managing to-do lists, to passing time playing games or watching movies, to completing daily tasks like comparing prices or locating the nearest ATM.

Over 53% of United States mobile phone users own a smartphone, which translates to 123.3 million people, according to a November 2012 report by comScore. This smart phone revolution, which comScore claims will continue to surge for years to come, has been supercharged by major developments in software (as well as hardware) technology, allowing thousands of independent companies and engineers to bring their ideas and innovations to millions of people through mobile app markets like Google Play and…

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