It’s a wrap! The team from Sonnar spent an energising weekend at the Amazon Alexa Games Hackathon in Auckland, from 24 to 26 May. Surrounding by inspiring people and bright ideas, there really was no better place to be for Techweek 2019.
This year, as part of the festival in celebration of innovation for the betterment of the world, Amazon and AUT came together to co-host an Amazon Alexa Games Hackathon. The Sonnar team attended as a local supporter; hosting technical workshops; and acting as judges for the 30 contestants along with Amazon’s Senior Developer Evangelist, Azi Farjad.
Speaking about Sonnar’s motivation to be part of the Hackthon, Jarek Beksa, CEO of Sonnar Interactive, explained that it is all about witnessing and supporting the growth of voice activated technology.
“The experience has been incredibly affirming because it just shows the rapidly growing interest towards voice activated technology across all levels of the tech sector – whether you are a seasoned developer, or starting out as a student.”
To start the participants on their journey, our lead developer Jeong Su Jeon held a workshop on creating one’s very own Alexa skills using Alexa Presentation Language, with a Pokémon game. Jarek then followed up with basics of voice recording and audio editing, so participants are able to feature high quality audio in their Alexa game Skills.
“The point of these events is not just in the competition; it is about having an idea, emerging completely in the design process, and being able to take it all the way to fruition through committed teamwork.” Jarek says.
While the weekend itself has certainly been revigorating, Jarek says he couldn’t help but treat this as a crystal-ball-gazing exercise, and thinks that there are reasons to believe that the future of voice applications is a bright one:
“It is genuinely inspiring seeing the amount of work participants put in during the two days, and the incredible quality exhibited. It’s hard to believe that it is some people’s first time building an Alexa skill!”