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BabyCenter delivers Amazon Alexa prowess with first pregnancy skill

Parenting digital resource BabyCenter is rolling out its first My Pregnancy skill for the Amazon Alexa application, allowing expectant parents to leverage the voice-activated technology to count down to their baby?s delivery date and receive medically reviewed child development updates.

My Pregnancy is the first Amazon Alexa skill developed to offer pregnancy-related resources to expectant mothers and fathers. Individuals will also be able to use the Amazon Echo device and its companion Alexa mobile app to view fetal development images and access helpful tips on child rearing.

?One thing we hear over and over again is how stressed today?s parents are, and we want to make life easier for them,? said Linda Murray, global editor in chief of BabyCenter. ?Voice-enabled technology like Amazon Alexa creates such convenience, and the experience is getting better and better.

?We wanted to get involved in this platform early to learn how best to leverage voice technology to serve our audience.?

Round-the-clock information
BabyCenter?s My Pregnancy skill within the Alexa Skills Kit is the first of its kind for soon-to-be parents.

Amazon Echo, a voice-controlled hands-free speaker, will enable time-strapped parents to multitask while receiving important information regarding their child?s development process.

The voice-activated Alexa companion app allows users to set up a countdown to their baby?s delivery date as well as receive access to weekly medically reviewed BabyCenter updates on how the mother?s body ? as well as the child?s ? is changing.

The Alexa app also offers helpful tips on what to expect as the baby grows and fetal development images that can help expectant parents visualize how their child might look.

A slew of brands have slowly begun rolling out features on Amazon Alexa.

For example, travel search engine Kayak recently launched voice-enabled travel search on Amazon Alexa, underscoring the interest in the platform and the potential for natural language processing to support research for products and services (see story).

Additionally, Domino?s continued its innovative mobile-ordering streak by integrating Amazon Echo prior to the Super Bowl, an attempt to drum up sales during one of food takeout?s biggest days of the year (see story).

Catering to tech-savvy parents
BabyCenter understands that many of its customers ? primarily millennial-aged parents ? are early adopters of the latest technologies. Therefore, the company decided to introduce an Amazon Alexa skill to offer these individuals more convenience as they navigate the trials of parenthood.

BabyCenter is currently collecting feedback from users as it determines what other features it should include in its next Alexa skill.

The pregnancy and parenting digital destination has been ramping up its mobile offerings over the past year, likely in a bid to reach parents on any device.

Last summer, BabyCenter rolled out a new application designed to provide mothers with bite-sized ideas on child-rearing, expert advice and peer guidance as their children move beyond the infancy years (see story).

However, its My Pregnancy skill for Amazon Alexa may help the brand reach even more individuals.

?Amazon Alexa is still a relatively new service, but one that is already capturing the attention of consumers,? Ms. Murray said. ?It seemed like an ideal opportunity to expand BabyCenter's reach to millennial moms and dads through the latest in voice-activation technology.?