Alexa in Canada

Amazon Alexa and Echo Skills, Tips, and Tricks for Canadians

Teri Fisher, from the Alexa in Canada Blog and VoiceFirst network, reveals all of his top Amazon Alexa skills, strategies, news, power tips and tricks for Canadians. Discover how you can get the most out of Alexa’s voice... More
Latest Episode2019-1-22

2019 Alexa Conference Round-Up

In this episode, Teri does a round-up of the conversations he had about voice with different people at the 2019 Alexa Conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

Teri was a speaker at the conference and talked about voice technology in the context of healthcare. He also led a workshop on how to create a flash briefing and recorded a flash briefing live for his Voice in Canada flash briefing.


Shanthan Kesharaju

  • He is the founder of Sermo Labs, LLC. They build educational Alexa skills that ignite young minds to learn interest in maths especially by practicing at home.
  • They built “1-2-3 Math” which has been top trending on the Amazon store in different categories. It has three difficulty levels; easy, medium and hard. It can be used by any school going child up to middle school depending on what their skill levels are. Parents have said the skill helps their children in doing their homework.
  • Shanthan gave a talk at the conference about how he built a top trending Alexa skill and shared his journey.

 Armel Beaudry Kembe

  • He is the founder of Trebble.FM, a free service that allows users with no technical experience to record byte-size “shortcast” voice messages (aka “capsules”) on using your smartphone or internet browser. Then, anyone in the world with a voice-activated speaker, such as the Amazon Echo, is able to listen to those shortcasts instantly.
  • He is excited about voice and thinks 2019 is going to be a great year.
  • Expects Amazon to announce a lot of great voice features/devices around cars.

Pete Erickson

  • He is the founder of Modev and the creator of the VOICE Summit.
  • They opened their call for proposals for the VOICE Summit during the Alexa Conference. The response was fantastic.

Stuart Patterson

  • He is the co-founder and CEO of Lifepod.
  • He liked the HealthTrack, a dedicated healthcare track which was a great mix of healthcare institutions, developers, and industry analysts. It gave Lifepod the opportunity to demonstrate their proactive voice capabilities along with the skill linking that they do in the session management that they do in their dialogue management system for caregivers.

Daniel Hill

  • He is the founder of Daniel Hill Media.
  • He teaches small business owners how to use Instagram and has the The Instagram Stories podcast.
  • He launched the Alexa flash briefing skill, The Instagram Stories, where he gives up-to-date news on Instagram, discusses news articles and also does a Q&A session he answers whatever questions people have about the platform.
  • He learnt a lot at the conference about what other people are doing in terms of making skills.
  • He wants to move more into skill development.

Dave Kemp

  • He also writes the blog, FuturEar. He is quickly becoming one of the leading voices on smart hearables.
  • He has observed a huge adoption of smart assistants within the senior population.
  • As people get older, they tend to lose their hearing, and Dave sees there being a combination between hearing aid adoption and smart assistant adoption because the two can work in conjunction very well. 
  • There is smart assistant integration taking place in hearing aids and hearing devices in general.

Doug Schumacher

  • He is the founder of Arrovox, which strategizes and develops digital marketing solutions.
  • He is the creator of the Homie and Lexy Podcast, a satirical podcast that dives into the lives of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant from their perspectives. Doug uses text-to-speech and quality voices to create a dialogue between the two assistants.
  • He also runs the podcast, Voice Marketing.
  • Doug learnt more about the voice space and developing voice solutions for businesses.

Amy Stapleton

  • She is the founder of Tellables, a company that creates conversational stories for voice first devices.
  • She gave a talk at the conference about using Alexa to capture attention as a story teller.
  • She was also promoting their new skill, “My Box of Chocolates”, which is available in the US and Canada. One can say, “Alexa, open my box of chocolates” and they get an interesting little candy that’s not real, but is associated with a funny little story and one can talk to Alexa about the story. They are currently soliciting content from authors to be published with their chocolates.

Brielle Nickoloff

  • She is the Lead, Product Marketing at Witlingo.
  • Witlingo created the CastLingo skill to help people record short snippets of whatever they want their audience to hear, and connect with them in a very unique way that conveys emotion through voice. They think this is the future of how people start connecting with their followers and audience.

Dr. Neel Desai

  • He is from the company, MedFlash Go.
  • The MedFlash Go skill will be geared towards the medical education space with the goal of helping medical students save time, money and anxiety. The skill will help them study for their exams.

John Dean

  • He is the Co-Founder at Triad Health A.I., which uses smart speakers to make smart exercises for Parkinsons. They see the opportunity to do things that are interactive in a home environment so people can stay independent, and also capture interesting data. They capture the performance data with the exercises and they couple that with the audio which provides them with a lot of very interesting information from people with Parkinsons.

Brian Roemmelle

  • He was introduced at the conference as the Modern Day Thomas Edison and the Oracle of Voice.
  • He is writing a book called “The Last Interface”
  • The Last Interface is a combination of many different ideas that he is trying to put together so that more people can understand it. It’s a wisdom keeper which stores all of the knowledge and wisdom that we have accumulated within us by seeing and reading things.
  • He believes that in the next year we are going to start seeing a very gradual, but noticeable shift of being able to actually have conversations with our voice AI systems. 

List of resources mentioned in this episode:

Other Useful resources:


2019 Alexa Conference Round-Up

Top Voice First Personalities Share their Thoughts

How to Create an Amazon Alexa Flash Briefing

A Live Workshop from the Alexa Conference

2019 Top Ten Amazon Alexa Skills in Canada

The 10 Best Amazon Echo Skills and Flash Briefings

The Alexa Conference 2019 with Harry Pappas

Intelligent Health Association and more!

Design for Voice with Jeremy Wilken

An Interview with Teri Fisher on Flash Briefings

Top Stories for 2018 with Bradley Metrock of VoiceFirst.FM

The Alexa Conference Preview

Social Media and Flash Briefings with Jen Lehner

Sharing your Message with your Audience