Smart speakers have become one of the hottest products in consumer technology with experts predicting that 56.3 million will be sold worldwide this year. Recently, Amazon, one of the largest smart speaker manufacturers, introduced Alexa Donations with Amazon Pay, which allows users to donate directly to charities through an Alexa skill, or voice activated capability. Now the iconic online marketplace is asking consumers to join in, using its assets to make a positive impact on the environment, local communities and the world.
This month, Amazon launched the Alexa Skills Challenge: Tech for Good, inviting developers to create an Alexa skill that benefits society. The company is looking for a skill that solves a customer problem, inspires customers to learn and take action and delivers a seamless user experience. To ensure these newly created capabilities can easily be embedded into users’ lives, Amazon urges developers to keep things simple – the more complex, the quicker consumers will lose interest and they won’t be inclined to use it again. The skills created can address a range of topics from STEM education to disaster relief and sustainable transportation – giving developers a chance to solve for issues that matter most to them. Participants can submit their entries by September 17 to get customer feedback, after which 10 finalists will be chosen. The winner will be announced in November and will be awarded $10,000 and the chance to direct a donation of $20,000 from Amazon to one of 11 nonprofit organizations. Developers can also win 11 additional bonus prizes across two categories – content and technical.
Paired with Alexa’s growing popularity, Amazon’s easy-to-use voice command technology has the ability to integrate seamlessly into users’ lives and create real behavioral changes. Users feel empowered to make an impact on a range of issues they care about by simply speaking out loud.