Amazon’s Alexa is, next to Siri and Google Home, the most popular voice assistant out there, and it just got a new skill. UCIC has announced that they’ve added Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) support to the Ubi Portal Alexa Skill. For those of you who don’t know, UCIC stands for Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation, and it has been approximately one year since they’ve launched the first Alexa skill through the Alexa Skills Kit. This new feature basically lets developers add SSML tags to the Alexa skill response, that, in the end, lets them create emphasis and expressions to the response.
Now, UCIC released some examples for you to check out, just so that you can understand what’s this all about. Developers can now add interjection tags to words, for example, words like ‘wowza’ and ‘nanu nanu’ can sound way more realistic when spoken by Alexa thx to such interjection tags. The SSML tag will essentially allow Alexa to pronounce numbers, addresses, etc. more naturally, which is great, as you will get a more natural assistant as a result of it. “With SSML support, responses to Alexa can really come alive,” said Leor Grebler, a CEO of UCIC. Now, for those of you who are wondering, this new feature can be accessed through the Ubi Portal Voice Prototyping Tool. In other words, you can follow the source link down below, and sign up to get a free account, after which you will be able to test out this new feature.
Do keep in mind that this new feature is here mostly for developers, so if you know what you’re doing, you’re free to try it out. You will need an Echo, Echo Dot or any other Alexa-enabled device in order to get started, though you can also use Ubi’s app on Android in case you don’t own a device with Alexa. In order to set up a prototyping skill, you will need to visit alexa.amazon.com, or use the Alexa app. Click on ‘Skills’ in the top right corner, search for Ubi, enable the Skill, and sign into your Ubi Portal Account. Now, there are a couple of more steps that you’ll need to take, and if you’re interested in the full tutorial, check out the provided image down below, in which UCIC explain, in details, how to do it, while they also provide an example of it.