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April 15, 2020
Day 15: Build a dictionary skill

On day 15 of our 30-day skill challenge we will be building a simple dictionary skill to look up the meaning of any word. Have you ever come across a word and not know what it means? Today we are going to teach Chatterbox how to look up word definitions for you so you can […]

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April 14, 2020
Day 14: Musical Alarms

On day 14 of our 30-day skill challenge, we continue learning about date and time to build a Chatterbox alarm clock! Let's continue our journey with time to learn how we can teach Chatterbox to wake you up to your favorite song. What's the difference between a timer and alarm? While a timer is for […]

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April 13, 2020
Day 13: Timers

It's day 13 of our 30-day skill challenge! Today we continue learning about date/time objects to extract times from speech and set timers. Yesterday we learned about date/time objects and, in particular, how to use pronounce blocks to translate dates and times from a computer format to English. Today we are going to learn how […]

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April 12, 2020
Day 12: What time is it in Timbuktu?

On day 12 of our 30-day skill challenge, we'll be learning about Date / Time objects and how we use them to teach Chatterbox to how to tell time around the world. So far we've learned how to get weather based on your location or find answers to complicated questions. But what if we wanted […]

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April 11, 2020
Day 11: Search DuckDuckGo for Extended Answers

On day 11 of our 30-day skill challenge, we'll be teaching Chatterbox how to search Duck Duck Go for extended answers regarding topics. Learn about the Spanish Inquisition or learn about the American Revolution. We've previously taught Chatterbox how to answer specific questions about the height of the Empire State Building or the depth of […]

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April 10, 2020
Day 10: Ask Wolfram Alpha

On day 10 of our 30-day skill challenge, we'll be teaching Chatterbox how to get answers to life's toughest questions. We'll be able to find out the distance to the moon, calculate the number of days until Thanksgiving and get the answer to what is the meaning of life. Today we are going to learn […]

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April 9, 2020
Day 9: Make a Groovy Hand Wash Timer

On day 9 of our 30-day skill challenge, we'll be making a hand wash timer that you can groove to. We'll also be learning about Skill Design and how to make Chatterbox Stop Audio and Wait. I think it is safe to say that we all have been washing our hands more than ever before […]

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April 8, 2020
Day 8: Create a magic spell to turn on lights

On day 8 of our 30-day skill challenge, we'll be learning to control smart lights with magic spells from Harry Potter. This is a great skill for all the Potterheads out there to understand how Chatterbox "listens" to speech. We know that many of you are huge Potterheads (aka Harry Potter fans). So we thought […]

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April 7, 2020
Day 7: Build a COVID-19 Recovery Tracker

On day 7 of our 30-day skill challenge, we'll be tracking the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic using the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University. It's hard to avoid all the news surrounding the pandemic that we are currently in. So we thought that we'd use this as a learning opportunity with a positive spin. […]

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April 6, 2020
Day 6: Let's play Mad Libs!

On day 6 of our 30-day skill challenge, we'll be teaching Chatterbox how to help us play the Mad Libs game! We'll learn how to make Chatterbox ask questions and use the answer in a response. So far we've made Chatterbox listen, speak and look up information from the internet. Now we're going to teach […]

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April 5, 2020
Day 5: Play an interesting podcast

On day 5 of our 30-day skill challenge, we'll be teaching Chatterbox how to play podcasts and sharing a short list of interesting resources for the entire family. As we all have been spending more and more time indoors and in front of screens, we thought we'd come up with some screen-less entertainment options for […]

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April 4, 2020
Day 4: Play that Funky Music

Welcome to day 4 of our 30-day skill challenge. Today we'll be teaching Chatterbox how to play music for the entire family. It's time to get the party started! We've covered the basics of getting Chatterbox to Listen, Speak and look up information from the internet. Now let's teach Chatterbox to be your own personal […]

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April 3, 2020
Day 3: "Hey Chatterbox, what's the weather?"

On day 3 of our 30-day skill challenge, we'll be teaching Chatterbox how to understand all the ways people ask for weather, then look up the latest weather information from the internet. Before we get started, let's think about how we say things. If you were to ask a friend about the weather, how would […]

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April 2, 2020
Day 2: Talk like a Droid

This is day 2 of our 30-day skill challenge! Now that you understand the basics of listening and speaking, it's time to learn how to interact with your Chatterbox. Repeat after me Yesterday, we learned how to make Chatterbox listen for a key phrase. That key phrase or whatever else the user says is called […]

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April 1, 2020
Day 1: Skill 'Basics'

Welcome to day 1 of our 30 day skill challenge! We thought we'd start this challenge off with the basics of teaching Chatterbox: Listening and Speaking! We'll be building on these basic skills to create all kinds of amazing skills in the days to come. Challenge: How do we teach Chatterbox how to 'Listen' and […]

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March 31, 2020
Announcing the 30 Skills in 30 days Challenge

We are excited to announce that we are doing a 30 skills in 30 days challenge during the month of April. What does this mean? Well, everyday we will post a new tutorial here on the Chatterbox Blog. What kinds of skills will we make? All kinds of skills! We'll be teaching Chatterbox how to […]

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March 16, 2020
Why we're discounting Chatterbox for kids affected by school closures

The coronavirus is affecting everyone, including kids. Schools are closing across the nation and around the world. The closures could remain in effect for months.  While kids are unable to attend classes, they also may be prevented from going outside and spending time with friends.  Naturally these curious minds will gravitate to TV screens, video […]

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February 11, 2020
Demystifying Technology with Chirp.io

We built Chatterbox so kids can experience how technology works -- with as many senses as possible.  After using their hands and eyes to assemble the box and electronics, they use their ears to listen to Chatterbox connecting to WiFi.  Wait, what?  Chatterbox uses a wonderful technology called Chirp to enable kids to privately, securely, […]

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February 4, 2020
How Technology Can Save Kids From Technology

Smartphones have taken over as the main consumer electronics device that everyone uses. And this is true of children, too. Recent research has found that some 63% of American kids spend more than two hours a day on “recreational” smartphone screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limits on screen-based media for children 6 […]

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February 4, 2020
The “Smart” Assistant That Anyone Can Teach (or Program)

Smart speakers are great. But they can’t do everything. And people tend to be very specific and exacting about what they want their smart speakers to do. The Verge news editor Chaim Gartenberg, for example, recently lamented the inability of smart home assistants Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri to control home appliances on a timer […]

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February 4, 2020
Why We’re Building a Smart Speaker for Kids

My name is Kevin Elgan. I’ve been focusing on education technology (or technology education) for children my entire career, first at Tynker (which teaches kids to code), then Piper (which is a build-it-yourself computer for children). Since then I’ve had a daughter of my own which has led me to reevaluate the role of technology […]

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