question

Rand M avatar image
Rand M asked

How can I use a greeter with an alphabetic abbreviation - e.g. "IBM"

I'd like to be able to use a greeter name that is an abbreviation (e.g. "IBM," "CNN", "ABC," etc.) and be able to say each character separately like we normally do. For example, 'Alexa, tell "eye bee em" to ' If I call the invocation name "IBM" then Alexa doesn't understand "eye bee em" but only understands the garbled word "ibm." Is there a way to do this (e.g. special characters, periods, etc.) or do I just need to call my invocation name something like "eye_bee_em" (for example, in the case of "IBM")? Thanks very much, Rand
alexa skills kitdebugging
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jjaquinta avatar image
jjaquinta answered
I think you just have to give up on a greeter that does something like this. I just called my UPS Package Tracker "Package Tracker". When I've had a requirement for users to "spell something" I've suggested they use the NATO call codes: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, etc. Then I just use the first letter of the recognized words. [If you do work out how to use IBM as a skill name, let me know. My day job is working for IBM!]
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Rand M avatar image
Rand M answered
Thanks!
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Rand M avatar image
Rand M answered
I got this to work by putting a space between the letters in the invocation name. For example, "I B M" or "i b m" (case doesn't seem to matter).
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chris lies avatar image
chris lies answered
I am working on a skill that reads back a letter/number registration code. I put a period and space after each letter/number which works perfect every time. For example, the speech for r5t9 would be "r. 5. t. 9. "
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The Stig avatar image
The Stig answered
Alternatively, you could use the phonetic alphabet for something like that (though, that might confuse some end users now that I think about it).
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Nick Gardner avatar image
Nick Gardner answered
All the suggestions here are good ones, and each application may have a different way of doing it, depending on what matters to your application. You also might be able to find something similar which doesn't require a abbreviation as well. Let us know what solution you end up using, I'm sure any other information you find will also be useful to the community as a whole. -Nick
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fatball avatar image
fatball answered
In the voice interaction guidelines they specifically say to use full stops after the letters, like this: i. b. m.
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Rand M avatar image
Rand M answered
Update - this seems to be changing on Amazon's end, but is now where I like it. I can now use "X.Y.Z." as the invocation name, which is my preference. Previously, using periods in the invocation name was not permitted. Currently, there seems to be some conflicting information on the "Choosing the Invocation Name for an Alexa Skill" page ( https://developer.amazon.com/appsandservices/solutions/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/docs/choosing-the-invocation-name-for-an-alexa-skill). One bullet says only "alphabetic characters and spaces" and the next bullet says "no punctuation except possessive apostrophes or periods" (which, for now, seems to be the accurate one). Here is the conflicting text: - The name should contain only alphabetic characters and spaces between words. To represent other characters like numbers, spell them out. For example, “Nineteen Eighty Four”. - The name should include no punctuation except possessive apostrophes (for example, “Mary’s Skill”), or periods used in abbreviations (for example, “A. B. C.”).
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