Project: Real Secrets

Hear or tell real secrets on your Alexa device.

Real Secrets

When you say “Alexa, open Real Secrets” to an Alexa-enabled device, you’ll hear the innermost thoughts of real people, sent anonymously to Real Secrets. Every day, you’ll hear new secrets that will amaze, delight, rattle, or enlighten you.

Real Secrets crowdsources then curates deeply personal content from real users. Every day, new secrets are revealed, making Real Secrets something Alexa owners can make a part of their daily routine.

 Real Secrets also uses Headcanon Paywall – a mechanism that provides a customizable number of days of free access, after which subscription or a one-time payment is required.

Real Secrets was created by:

Ron Martinez, Headcanon founder and media inventor, and a pioneering narrative game and simulation designer, producer, and developer. Ron, former VP Intellectual Property for Yahoo! and creator of book retailing platform,, also brings a continuing focus on novel commerce and distribution models to his work in narrative systems design.

Maja Thomas, Headcanon Producer/Creator, and global Chief Innovation Officer for Paris-based Hachette Livre. Maja has won multiple Grammy Awards for her Spoken Word producing and directing. She is also the creator of audiobook divisions for both Time Warner and the Hachette Book Group.

Design Strategy

Our goal with Real Secrets is to bring one of the most human of expressions into Voice apps–the real secrets of real people, told in their own words. In each secret, an untold story brought to life.

This Alexa Skill is designed to reward daily engagement by presenting the magnetic experience of being able to listen in on the deepest, most hidden thoughts of real people. A daily selection of secrets is curated from among messages sent to us here. And messages are fully anonymized by our submission process, and also by the distance and abstraction afforded by text-to-speech (TTS) performance.


Real Secrets is the first implementation of uVoice™ (for user voice) a voice app model devised by Headcanon. uVoice™ supports the gathering and curation of magnetic content with a recognizably human voice, refreshed every day to reward daily engagement.

A range of categories beyond secrets can be built with uVoice™. User tips, opinions, or advice about almost anything–from products, shows, fandoms,  or music, to political opinions, good news shout outs, and more–can all be built with the the uVoice™ submission and daily publication framework.

Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud.

Voice UX Design

While we might have elected to use voice recordings, we felt that approach might serve to put distance between the listener and the secret teller. As Scott McCloud set forth in his illuminating book, Understanding Comics, the more abstract a character’s presentation, the more readily audiences can project themselves into the role and experience of that protagonist. Think Steve Canyon vs. Charlie Brown.

Get in Touch

Project idea? Question? Anything else? Please get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you!

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