Amazon has announced Alexa Skill Blueprints, a new way for users to vastly personalize their Alexa experience. With Blueprints, users can create their on personalized skills and responses using templates, with a total of 20 Skill Blueprints being offered initially. The process is said to be simple enough for anyone to use, no coding skills necessary.
Alexa Skill Blueprints are split up into four different categories: At Home, Fun & Games, Learning & Knowledge, and Storyteller. It only takes minutes to create a customized skill, says Amazon, which includes pre-filled content for each Blueprint that can be used or replaced by the device owner.
Custom skills are registered to the user’s Amazon account and remain private to that user (and anyone with access to their related Alexa device). The company provides some examples of ways to use Blueprints, such as creating a custom story uniquely crafted for the owner’s child, creating funny responses to specific questions, and more.
Skill Blueprints can be used for more practical purposes, too, greatly expanding Alexa’s usefulness as a smart home assistant. For example, the “At Home” Blueprints can be used to create a skill that provides guests with all the relevant details for the home. Visitors could, for example, use the skill to get the guess WiFi password or smart lock passcode. Another example is setting up a skill that provides vital instructions to a babysitter/pet-sitter.
Some Alexa users will be disappointed to know Blueprints’ one big limitation: they’re only available to Alexa users in the US. Whether Amazon plans to expand the templates beyond that market isn’t stated. The full list of available templates can be found at Amazon’s new Blueprints.amazon.com site.