Amazon has introduced a new feature called Alexa Skill Blueprints, which allows users to create their own personalized skills and responses from the digital voice assistant.
Using a set of easy-to-use templates, anyone can create customized experiences for Alexa within minutes by filling in the blanks. For example, you can program your own answer to the question "Alexa, who is the best mom in the world?" or add a skill that offers helpful information for a babysitter, which you can access by saying "Alexa, open My Sitter." The skills you create will only be accessible on your devices that are registered to your Amazon account.
"Alexa Skill Blueprints is an entirely new way for you to teach Alexa personalized skills just for you and your family," says Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa. "You don't need experience building skills or coding to get started. My family created our own jokes skill in a matter of minutes, and it's been a blast to interact with Alexa in a totally new and personal way."
To add an Alexa skill through Blueprints, you simply fill in the blanks, customizing responses to questions. You can add fun answers to questions like "Alexa, what is the best city?" or "Alexa, who has the best sense of humour?" or add more useful skills, like creating interactive adventure stories for your kids, using them as the lead character, then call it up by saying "Alexa, start Anna's story." I tried it out by setting up some skills that my son could use, reminding him what to do before bedtime when he asks "Alexa, what should Patrick do to get ready for bed?" and encouraging him to be good by asking what mommy should do if he's misbehaving. I can also foresee adding skills that outline quick and easy recipe ingredients, such as a reminder of the ratios for homemade pancake mix. Once you set up a skill and response, it will be available within minutes through your associated Alexa-enabled devices.
To add an Alexa Skill Blueprint, visit blueprints.amazon.com, log into your account, and browse the more than 20 Skill Blueprints across four categories, including Fun & Games, At Home, Storyteller, and Learning & Knowledge, or add your own customized Skills as I did. Each blueprint comes with pre-filled content that can be used as-is, or that you can customize to make it more personalized.
There is no limit to the number of Alexa Skills you can create through Blueprint; and responses can be easily edited via the Website so you can have fun surprising your significant other, kids, or guests.