Amazon is introducing a new way to create Alexa skills today, without the need for coding or tech skills. Alexa Skill Blueprints will let the average household customize a variety of questions, with personal answers and responses that are separate to routines. The idea is to make it very easy for anyone create a skill or question / answer that will only run on their Alexa devices. This could be a custom joke response to an Alexa question like “who’s the best dad in the world,” the ability for Alexa to provide a set of instruction for the pet sitter or babysitter, or predefined ‘burns” to roast your friends or father-in-law.
“You don’t need experience building skills or coding to get started, says Steve Rabuchin, Amazon Alexa VP. “My family created our own jokes skill in a matter of minutes.” Amazon is providing a set of templates to let anyone create these skills and custom questions / responses. The templates include custom questions and answers, responses designed for house guests, trivia games, jokes, and even short stories that could also be particularly useful for bedtime stories when a parent is working away from home. That’s a wide variety of templates applicable to many types of households.
The custom questions and answers will likely be the most interesting feature for Alexa users, as you now have the ability to get Alexa to say whatever you want in a response to a custom question. That will open Alexa up to some jovial responses, but also the possibility for abuse. These custom answers are limited to the Amazon account linked with the Alexa device, but that won’t stop people from endlessly posting funny custom Alexa response videos in the coming weeks.
Alexa Skill Blueprints will be available initially in the US today, and Echo owners can start creating custom responses with the templates available on Amazon’s Alexa website.