Multimedia Technology and Design student wins $15,000 award in Amazon Alexa app competition

A fourth-year student at the University of Kent has won $15,000 in a competition to design apps for Amazon’s Alexa voice-controlled software.

Ilarna Nche, a Multimedia Technology and Design student from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, won the prize for the Best Skill by University Students in the competition for her app called Music Bop.

The app is designed to provide a fun and engaging experience for children without needing to use a screen. Instead, the Amazon speaker provides instructions to children to jump, dance and move about within the framework of a story – one set under the sea, the other in outer space. This not only encourages them to be active but also helps teach them about animals and the planets.

As well as using her technical skills to produce all the coding for the game Ilarna also wrote all the music featured. The logo for the app was designed by Leanne Hearnden, also a student from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts.

The app is now available as a free download for the Amazon Echo and Amazon Dot voice speakers in the US and should be available in the UK soon.