Hello Alexa, find a marathon in Berlin…
by Matt Allbeury

At RaceBase World we’re not just trying to give you an awesome race discovery experience, we’re also looking for new ways to help you discover that next race, such as packaging races into our new Race Series and Featured Destination articles.

Rise of the Personal Assistants

Unless you’ve been living in a cave you’ve probably heard about the new wave of ‘personal assistants’ and Amazon’s Alexa is certainly garnering a lot of press at the moment. Whether or not you’re a fan of the march of progress, it seems these ‘assistants’ are here to stay, and having personally been a rather late adopter to the craze I must say I’m a convert!

It’s about the social

It’s so much more sociable than staring face down at a smartphone or tablet, and unless you live alone it’s much more inclusive of those around you. To be able to ask the weather and maybe check the latest news without touching a computer, in the traditional sense, is actually quite liberating.

So it was super exciting that Renato our ‘integrator extraordinaire’ set out to build a skill (Amazon’s parlance for an Alexa app) to leverage the RaceBase World platform and provide another way to find races!

Using the platform allows Alexa to find races within a radius of a location, or by race type or race distance. The next iteration of the skill will also use your home location to better recommend races near you. Subsequent iterations will leverage more from the platform, opening up the ability for Alexa to remind you when a race you’re registered for is coming up!

It should be noted that Alexa and her virtual friends are still fairly new technology, and as such when they work they’re awesome, and when they don’t, well they’re not so great. Sometimes the speech recognition just can’t understand what you’re saying, but then with ‘machine learning’ it’s said that these virtual assistants are learning all the time, which is both exciting and a little unnerving at the same time.

Where can I get it?

The RaceBase World skill is available in the Amazon Alexa store in supported markets.