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Capitals Enhance Alexa Skill with Visual Elements, Develop Google Action

The Washington Capitals become the first NHL team to enhance their Amazon Alexa Skill with visual elements and develop a Google Action

by Washington Capitals @Capitals / WashingtonCaps.com

The Washington Capitals have expanded their smart home voice platform by developing a Google Action, launching a Google Play Daily Briefing Podcast, adding a video component to their Amazon Alexa Flash Briefing, and creating multimodal visual elements to their existing Washington Capitals Alexa Skill for use on Amazon devices with screens.

All of the Capitals' voice offerings for Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices are available at WashCaps.com/SmartHome.

"We had such a great response to the Alexa skill and flash briefing last season that we wanted to see what areas we could expand in the voice-controlled speaker market this year to reach more Caps fans," James Heuser, senior director of digital media for the Washington Capitals said. "Launching into the Google Home marketplace allows us to have a strong footprint in the two major smart home platforms - and the multimodal advancements on the Amazon Alexa screen devices bring to life our Alexa Skill and Flash Briefing for the next wave of home speakers."

The Google Action, available now, allows fans with a Google Home compatible device to ask specific questions including score updates, player stats, team schedule and more. The Capitals also unveiled a Google Play Daily Briefing Podcast featuring John Walton, radio voice of the Washington Capitals. The Capitals are the first professional sports team to enter the Google Assistant marketplace with a Google Action.

The Capitals also advanced their Amazon Alexa offerings with the addition of a video version of the Capitals Flash Briefing - a popular method of delivering news through short messages that update daily. The visual briefing will accompany the current audio version on Alexa-enabled devices with screens, such as the Echo Show.

In addition, when using Alexa-enabled devices with screens, fans communicating with the Capitals Alexa Skill will see a full multimodal visual experience featuring dynamic player profiles, schedule information, standings and more.

The Capitals were the first professional sports team to unveil a skill for Amazon Alexa in 2017 and are now the first team to relaunch their skill with added visual elements using the new Alexa Presentation Language (APL) for a richer voice experience.

The Capitals Skill and Google Action continue to have unique additions for fans including the ability to ask the Capitals to play the team's goal horn or to "Unleash the Fury" - a popular in-game experience from Capital One Arena. Fans can also listen to all games on Caps Radio 24/7 through Tune In on all Google and Amazon devices.

The Capitals teamed up with iStrategyLabs (ISL), a Washington, D.C., based agency that creates digital and physical experiences for brands, to create the Google Action and the advancements for the Amazon Alexa devices.

The Google Action is the third project the Capitals and ISL have developed together. Last season, the Capitals worked with ISL to become the first professional sports team to launch their Alexa skill. They previously worked together to unveil the Capitals' Facebook Messenger Bot, which was also the first of its kind for a National Hockey League (NHL) franchise.

Sample Google Action Questions:

Okay Google, ask the Washington Capitals what's the score?

Hey Google, ask the Washington Capitals how's Ovechkin doing?

Okay Google, ask the Washington Capitals what channel the game is on?

Sample Amazon Alexa Skill questions:

Alexa, ask The Capitals how many goals does Nicklas Backstrom has?

Alexa, tell The Capitals we just scored!

Alexa, tell The Capitals to unleash the fury!

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