Amazon Alexa Challenge Review

Behind the scenes of our Alexa Challenge Hackathon!

Seven teams at Zaizi took on the Alexa Skills Challenge; to solve a problem that someone could use every day. Alexa is the voice assistant service that powers Echo, which enables customers to interact with devices in a more intuitive way using voice-activated technology.

Congrats to the winning team #G and special thanks to the other 6 teams for participating in the Hackathon. Each member of the winning team will be given an Amazon Echo Dot.

The Challenge

Each team had just 1 day to come up with their solution, code Alexa, watch it come to life and present their solution to the whole Zaizi HQ in London, including those at our Sri Lankan office on Thursday, 30th of March.

The Zaizi Alexa Hackers were given free rein to come with their solutions, however, the winning solution had to have potential benefits and to solve a problem for their target audience.

The Judges

The judges decided who the winner was based on 3 main factors; innovative idea (40%), demo (40%) and the quality of their presentation (20%).


Team 1: #G: [Winning Team]

Team #G created a solution that allows people to easily find out location-based crime rates within the UK. For instance, Alexa how safe is Hammersmith? Would return the number of burglaries and theft reports in the area using the Police & Google MAP API. Thus, helping people to quickly make better decisions on where to live and where not to visit in the UK.

Team 2: #MedDesk

Team #MedDesk designed a solution to digitally transform the health industry in developing countries. The aim was to reduce the dependence on manual recordkeeping and improve the accessibility of information.

All the patient is required to do is ask Alexa to open MedDesk, then quote their password to gain access to their medical records. This saves them from going to the hospital to get their records. Hence, forcing hospitals to update patients’ records in a timely manner. 

Team 3: #Stash

Team #Stash designed a helper for Stash – the source code repository management system. The aim of their solution was to make it fun and easy to access the latest updates in Stash. Doing it manually causes delays and reduces productivity. Thus, by creating this solution, they empower employees to be more productive. 

Team 4: #Escapees

Team #Escapees created a solution to automate their daily scrum/stand-up (project) meetings. The aim of their solution was to improve communication within teams on a project. Therefore, anyone who’s missed a meeting or needs a recap will get a quick update by asking Alexa. 

Team 5: #TMBT

Team #TMBT created a room booking solution to prevent meeting room wars, which is a frequent occurrence in most companies. With Alexa, you can easily find out if a room is booked and when it will be available.

Team 6: #Zeitgeist

Team #Zeitgeist created a solution for the marketing team; to help them publish and un-publish webpages. For instance, ‘Alexa publish Zaizi’s homepage’. To enable marketing decisions to be made easily and on the go from any location. It was also configured to check YouTube stats. ‘Alexa tell me the video views for my YouTube Channel’. 

Team 7: #Coding Cheetahs

Team #Coding Cheetahs created a solution that informs you how secure a website is. They configured Alexa using SSL Labs Vulnerability Scanner. Consequently, enabling companies to know if their website is secure or not, enabling them to make the necessary changes.    

A video of the winning team’s solution

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