20 April, 2018
The new Alexa Skill Blueprints feature makes it easy for anyone to create a range of custom responses for Alexa, ranging from jokes to instructions and much more. Trivia games, jokes, short stories and many more fun templates are already included so users can set up their own Alexa skills very easily. Custom skills created with blueprints don't go into the Alexa Skills Store; they are tied to devices associated with the Amazon account where they are created.
Once I got over the initial gimmicky phase, it became clear that Alexa Blueprints are strategic on many fronts. You can also use Echo Spot to start a voice or video call, or send a message to a supported Echo device or the Alexa App-simply say, "Alexa, call Dad", or "Alexa, send a message to Mary". The first thing you'll need to do is fill in the content for the skill. Amazon hasn't set a limit on how many skills can be created by users, but it has set a limit on where the feature is available as it's now only live for users in the USA with no word on when it will expand to other regions. College students could use the flash cards custom skill when studying, while a group of friends or roommates could design their own trivia games.
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Some examples Amazon presents in a release include a user supplying a specific answer to a basic question like "Alexa, who is the best mom in the world?"
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"Alexa Skill Blueprints is an entirely new way for you to teach Alexa personalized skills just for you and your family", said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa.
The experience page dictates how the user will interact with the skill, and how Alexa will respond.
Each page features two sections: "How to create", with steps on building that particular skill, and "How to use", which explains the process for using the skill.
Users without tech or coding skills can create custom responses to questions.