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Pete Haas And Ryan Jordan Win Amazon Alexa Hackathon Grand Prizes At Voice 2020 Virtual Summit

·4 min read

Pete Haas and Ryan Jordan take top prizes for their Shell Game and COVID Stats skills after competing with six other teams over the two-week hackathon.

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Amazon Alexa Hackathon winners were announced today with Pete Haas and Ryan Jordan taking home over $2,500 each in prizes for their winning Skills; one a Shell Game and the other for a COVID Stats Skill.

VOICE Summit Logo (PRNewsfoto/Modev)
VOICE Summit Logo (PRNewsfoto/Modev)

The free, virtual Hackathon saw 200+ participants competing for over $6,000 in prizes in the categories of Best Use of Alexa Conversations and Best Use of Web API for Games and Alexa Presentation Language. The teams began developing their Alexa Skills at the start of VOICE 2020 on Monday, October 5th with a deadline of Thursday, October 15th.

Along with their Skills design and build, teams had to include a 60 second commercial or pitch video on YouTube which described the problem their skill addressed and a brief demonstration of how it worked.

Ryan Jordan won for his COVID Stats Skill in the Best Use of Alexa Conversations category and Pete Haas won for his Shell Game Skill in the Best Use of Web API for Games and Alexa Presentation Language category -- each team winning $2,500 in devices. The runner up teams Monique Howard, Melissa Smith, Leah Erb, Lamiae Hana, Chris Hagberg, Dr. Christie Sosnowski, and Ronit Robinson, for their Color Together Skill and William Rongholt with Cards of Wonder also won $600 in devices.

Adjudication of the Hackathon was performed by an esteemed panel of judges including:

The panel of judges in conjunction with Amazon Alexa's judges evaluated submissions based on how well the individuals or teams used Alexa Conversations or Alexa Presentation Language or Alexa Web API. Top entries included:

The winner of the most innovative conversational experience prize category, Ryan Jordan, created the COVID Stats Skill to try out several different features, including the APLA design system for background audio, dynamic use of tables and graphs in APL and the Conversations system to collect data from users including by list and overall.

"I really wanted to find clever ways to show a ton of data without it feeling cluttered and give other useful information using things like charts and graphs," Jordan said.

Shell Game, which won for Most Innovative Use of Multimodal Technologies, was created by Pete Haas and is based on the popular game. Users are able to use their voice or touch the screen to interact with the Shell game.

"This was my first APL project, so I spent a lot of time creating the shell shuffling animation," Haas said. "I spent a lot of time making them look natural."

The Amazon Alexa Hackathon was presented as part of VOICE 2020, a virtual summit which ran from October 5 to October 15and featured over 80 talks, panels and workshops about creating, building, and marketing for voice technology.

"The Voice 2020 Amazon Alexa Hackathon went entirely virtual this year which allowed us to accept submissions from 14 different countries!" hackathon judge and Amazon Alexa, Senior Solution Architect Justin Jeffress said. "Thanks for building skills to expand the capabilities of Alexa while surprising and delighting your customers!"

Media inquiries, please contact Miranda Archer at miranda@modev.com.

About Modev:
Modev was founded by Pete Erickson in 2008 on the simple belief that human connection is vital in the era of digital transformation. Today, Modev leverages exponential technologies and methods to build communities at scale, manage transformation strategies and produce market/leading events such as VOICE Summit, sponsored by Amazon Alexa, and Spinnaker Summit, sponsored by Netflix. Modev also curates specialty communities such as Voicehacks, Machinery.ai and Security by Design. Modev staff, better known as "Modevators," include more than 45 community building and transformation experts from around the world. To learn more about Modev, VOICE and the breadth of events offered live and virtually, please go to modev.com.

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SOURCE Modev