Amazon rolls out Alexa Skill Blueprints in the US

21 April, 2018, 14:05 | Author: Rosalie Gross
  • The new Blueprints tool is an effort to open up customization of Alexa most often found in Amazon’s Echo-branded speakers to people without a background in software

Effectively, the new functionality allows anyone to create their own Alexa skill.

Step one in making your own Alexa skill: the Blueprints website gives you instructions before beginning. You can also use Skill Blueprints to create an interactive adventure story with a child as the lead character, for instance, "Alexa, start Anna's Story". Fun & Games, Learning & Knowledge, At Home, and Storyteller.

The custom Q&A feature means you can pretty much make Alexa answer any question in any way you want. For example, you can use blueprints to teach Alexa to answer a question a certain way ("Alexa, who's the smartest sibling?") or create a custom command for the babysitter so that you don't have to write everything down ("Alexa, open My Sitter"). And once you've created skills you can manage and edit them at any time on the Alexa Skill Blueprints website.

There are three sections to a template: Content, Experience, and Name.

Nowak thinks it could be very important that Alexa gains a screen, versus the audio-only nature of the "Echo" smart speakers from Amazon.

Alexa Skill Blueprints is now available for customers in the United States. You could have Alexa save useful bits of information ("Alexa, what's the Wi-Fi password" would save a lot of pain), or else program in jokes or quizzes to keep the rest of your household amused.

The experience page dictates how the user will interact with the skill, and how Alexa will respond. All you have to do is to ask Alexa to get in touch; but that only applies to the Fire HD 10. When it is ready, it will be available on any Alexa-enabled device associated with that Amazon account.

The move comes as companies such as Google Inc. and Apple Inc. continue to try to chip away at Alexa's lead with a variety of their own devices.

Go to the Alexa Skills Blueprint Help Hub for more information.

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