The Challenges

The Amazon Challenge

About Amazon Alexa

Alexa, the voice service that powers Echo, provides capabilities, or skills, that enable customers to interact with devices in a more intuitive way using voice. Examples of these skills include the ability to play music, answer general questions, set an alarm or timer and more. Alexa is built in the cloud, so it is always getting smarter. The more customers use Alexa, the more she adapts to speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences.

The Alexa Skills Kit is a collection of self-service APIs, tools, documentation and code samples that make it fast and easy for you to teach Alexa new skills. You can also use the Smart Home Skill API, a new addition to the Alexa Skills Kit, to easily teach Alexa how to control your cloud-controlled smart home devices. All of the code runs in the cloud and nothing is on any user device. You can learn more here

Creating a skill

We will take you through everything you need to know to get started at the beginning of the Hackathon.  In order for you to be able to get started quickly it would be beneficial to you to set up the following before you arrive:

  • Amazon Developer account – it’s free, register here
  • An AWS account – also free but you will need a credit card to set it up. Register here

The QNAP Challenge

What will I do over the 2 days?

• Learn how to prototype and deploy IoT solutions powered by QNAP’s latest developer tools

• Get hands-on training and experience with QNAP NAS

• Engage with QNAP experts to answer your technical questions

What can you expect?

• Networking with  fellow IoT developers

• Support from experts and mentors on site to help you in your efforts

• Opportunity for your team to win a £1000 Amazon gift voucher. Both winning teams will also receive a NAS (TS-251A)

Useful things to know

• Each team consists of 3-5 people

• You will need to bring your own laptop. QNAP will provide 1 NAS & Arduino Yun for each team. You are welcome to bring your own board, simply download ARDUINO 1.8.0

• Please follow MQTT or HTTP protocol

Hardware list

• You can view the full list of hardware here.

IoT Hackathon Schedule

Day 1 – 23/01/2017

Time Details
09:00 Registration and welcome refreshments
09:30-10:30 Meet the mentors & overview of technology
10:30-13:00 Hackathon begins!
13:00-14:00 Lunch break
14:00-17:00 Hackathon continues
17:00-18:00 Winding down for the day

Day 2 – 24/01/2017

Time Details
09:00 Welcome refreshments
09:30-12:30 Hackathon continues
12:30-13:30 Lunch break and judges arrive
13:30-15:30 Presentations to take place for the judges
15:30-15:45 Hackathon winners announced and awards presentation

The Challenge Criteria

Amazon Criteria
Best Voice User Interface (VUI)
Learn more about VUI here – Max 20 points

Max 20 points

Would people come back to the skill regularly – Max 10 points

Use of AWS Lambda
5 Points

Presentation / Pitch
Max 5 points

QNAP Criteria
How does the solution look? Does the maker make use of QIoT Suite Lite and mashup a variety of its usage?

What kind of starter kit is used? Can it be copied easily? Is it an intuitive workflow?

Is this kind of solution already available on the market?

Market potential
Is this solution sellable after packing this idea into a real product? Is there potential market demand/customer base for this product?

Is the solution completed? Does it provide well designed and informative dashboard?

The Judges

Angelo Zaia

Director of Software Development


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Toni Radzihovska

Senior Business Development Manager for Alexa Skills Kit


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Dean Bryen

Technology Evangelist, Alexa and Echo


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Gavin Martin

Senior Customer Technical Support Engineer

Seagate Technology

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