Invoking your Voice Application
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Invoking your Voice Application

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In order for users to be able to interact with your voice experience using their smart assistants, they need to invoke it. Think of this as a spoken website which enables users to find and access your project using Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa. Invocation works slightly differently across these different voice assistant platforms.

Your voice app will not be available on a platform until it has passed certification and been published on that platform.

Explicit Invocation

Explicit Invocation occurs when users tell their smart assistant they want to use your app using the invocation you've set up.

Amazon Alexa

Alexa users will usually need to enable your custom skill on their devices before they will be able to invoke it. Once enabled, people will be able to invoke your app simply by asking for it, using the invocation phrase.  Learn more about testing your voice application on Alexa devices.

Enabling a skill for use can be done in the Alexa app, on the web, or simply by saying, "Alexa, enable [skill name]".

Following are some sample invocation phrases without a specific request. Invoking your voice app without a specific request will play the welcome message, after which the user will be invited to speak their request:

"Alexa, open Mary's Kitchen"

"Alexa, launch Mary's Kitchen"

"Alexa, start Mary's Kitchen"

"Alexa, Mary's Kitchen"

Following are some sample invocation phrases with a specific request:

"Alexa, ask Mary's Kitchen about pizza options"

"Alexa, ask Mary's Kitchen for their mobile phone number"

"Alexa, tell Mary's Kitchen I want to pick up my usual order at 2pm"

Google Assistant

When your voice app is published to Google, it will be automatically added to Google's Assistant directory, and people will be able to invoke your app simply by asking for it, using the invocation phrase.  Learn more about testing your voice application on Google Assistant devices.

Following are some sample invocation phrases without a specific request. Invoking your voice app without a specific request will play the welcome message, after which the user will be invited to speak their request:

"Ok Google, talk to Mary's Kitchen"

"Ok Google, speak to Mary's Kitchen"

"Ok Google, let me talk to Mary's Kitchen"

Following are some sample invocation phrases with a specific request:

"Ok Google, ask Mary's Kitchen about pizza options"

"Hey Google, ask Mary's Kitchen for their mobile phone number"

Platform-Independent Invocation

When promoting your voice app, it is often useful to have a single invocation phrase you can include in your marketing materials, regardless of the smart assistant platform. Unfortunately, the durability of various invocation phrases varies across platforms, between voice applications and over time.

At the time of writing, "use" and "ask" are the most reliable invocation phrases that work on all smart assistant platforms.

Implicit Invocation

Implicit invocation (also known as name-free interaction) is an interaction flow that occurs when a user makes a request to perform some task without invoking your voice app by name. The smart assistant attempts to match the user's request to a suitable fulfilment, such as your voice app might provide, and then presents the recommendations to the user.

To find a suitable voice app, the smart assistant platform will try to match a user's request to something that's similar to a training phrase of one of your configured intents.

Example

User: "Ok Google, I would like to get my lunch home delivered."

Assistant: "Sure. For that, you might like Mary's Kitchen. Wanna give it a try?"


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