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How We Integrated the Bella Chatbot With Amazon’s Virtual Assistant, Alexa

28th May 2018 / Capital Numbers / Web Development

Chatbots are a relatively young technology, and we’re still finding new and exciting ways to apply them. Recently we built a chatbot, Bella, to help users quit smoking, and we integrated it with the Amazon Echo.

Bella was originally envisioned to help users stop a smoking habit. We also built an app around the chatbot called “Quit Smoking With Bella” for our client. The client liked the app and asked us to integrate it with Alexa, the automated virtual assistant in the Amazon Echo.

There were two main challenges to overcome when we got started on this project.

The first was that we weren’t very familiar with Alexa’s skills kit development. It required a significant amount of research and development to figure out how everything worked.

The second challenge was that the client requested continuous voice communication for the chatbot, but we looked into that and found that it wasn’t possible using a third-party chatbot.

The client goals required us to find a workaround. So we brainstormed for a little while and came up with the idea to use trigger words and corresponding responses. The client provided those to us, and we built an API to receive voice commands sent by Alexa and send a message in response.

Now, users can access Bella through the Amazon Echo.

Talking to Bella can be as simple as talking to another person. Users just have to access Bella through Alexa and continue a conversation as normal.

We used the Amazon Echo, JS, NodeJS and API integration for this project.

Want to know more? Go here to read the case study.

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