Tag Alexa

What’s New With the Bespoken Proxy (bst) and CLI Tools

Hello, everybody.

Some time ago in the far away land of 2016 we released the Bespoken CLI to help you develop Alexa skills locally, making testing and debugging far easier and faster. Well, since then a number of helpful improvements have been made to the Bespoken Proxy bst proxy; the command line interface is more user friendly than ever before.

Now that it’s been over a year since the launch, I’d like to show you how to get started using bst proxy all over again – as well as show you the many improvements that have been made along the way.

For those new to the Bespoken CLI, here’s a quick summary of what it is and how it works.

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Unit Testing Alexa Skills Using Virtual Alexa

Meet Virtual Alexa – a magical emulator that is an essential tool for unit testing Alexa skills. Check it out on Github, or read the API docs here.

Virtual Alexa is based on our existing BSTAlexa emulator, but we’ve taken it to the next level. 🙂

What are our motivations for creating this? We wanted to provide:

  • An intuitive, natural way to unit test Alexa skills programmatically – as if you were speaking to the device
  • A simpler interface for startup and teardown of tests
  • A first-class project in its own right

We see the Virtual Alexa emulator as a standalone, highly useful project, and so we have moved it to its own repository. It really has taken on a life of its own, independent of our core CLI project, bst, as it is foundational to other new pieces we are working on.

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The Future of Voice On The Voicebot Podcast

In episode 6 of The Voicebot Podcast, our very own founder and CEO John Kelvie joins Bret Kinsella, editor of voicebot.ai for a conversation about voice apps, voice diagnostics, and the future of voice.

As longtime acquaintances working in similar spaces for over a decade, listen in on this candid and intriguing recording between two industry experts.

Highlights include:

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What Can Alexa Skills Do?

The Amazon Echo, powered by the Alexa Voice Assistant, opens up so many great possibilities for developers and content creators. It’s obvious the first time people try it just how powerful and accessible it is. And it’s easy to imagine so many creative ways to take advantage of the platform.

But there are subtleties and tricks to building for Alexa, and mastering them can be the difference between a great skill and a mediocre one. To help you become an Alexa ninja, here is our handy quick reference of just what the custom Alexa skills can do.

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Bespoken Recognized on the Alexa Agencies and Tools Page

Today, Amazon released the Alexa Agencies and Tools page with a list of organizations that build skills as well as tools for developers building Alexa skills. We are thrilled to be included in the list with the other great tools and skill creators.

As skill creators ourselves, we wanted a way to share the tools we were building to help with skill creation with the community. We put out our proxy tool, which allows Alexa to interact directly with code running on your machine, and Bespoken Tools was born.

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The Alexa Model Is Better

The Amazon Echo, powered by the Alexa Voice Assistant, provides an exciting new interface for users. Now with Google jumping into the fray, it is only building momentum for Voice-First experiences.

And the innovation goes beyond just Voice – it has also popularized a new programming model. A model that may be as exciting for developers as Voice is for users.

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