Alexa Skill for Long Weekends

Santhosh Sundar
Jan 2, 2018 · 2 min read

How about just uttering the words “Alexa, When’s the next long weekend?” in the comfort of your home could give you the detailed information on the upcoming long weekend without having to pick a phone or a laptop?

The “Long Weekend Calendar” Alexa Skill is a conversation-based custom skill created over a long weekend of Christmas ’17 that lets you interact with your Alexa device to pull out the information required to plan your next holiday or vacation.

Saying “Alexa, Open long weekend calendar” will start a conversation. You can then ask “Long weekends in January” or “How many long weekends in 2018?” etc. You can also have single interaction, by saying “Alexa, ask long weekend calendar for next long weekend”

At the moment, the Skill has data of all the “possible” long weekends in India for the calendar year of 2018. It can be reproduced to publish the long weekend calendar for other countries by just updating a JSON file. Written using Node.js, the code base has been open-sourced and is available on Github.

The Skill is currently live and you can try it out on your Alexa device. In India, you can directly enable it here or by going to Skills section in your Alexa app and search for Long Weekends in 2018. Also available in US and UK.

So, go ahead and plan your next vacation! Hint hint: You can also book tickets using voice with the travel-based Skills. We live in exciting times, isn’t it?

We are at the inception of what’s to come in the future of experiences. The Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is evolving at the rapid pace and there are no signs of slowing. Eventually, the experiences get more natural. It is high time we shift our focus from writing code to just screens to array of new devices that are shaping the future of interaction. And it is not too far away. For starters, the codebase of this Skill can be used to get started with learning and creating experience of the future!

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