Here’s how you can create your own Alexa Skill Blueprints
Skill Blueprints give everyone the ability to create their own custom actions for their Alexa-powered devices.
Getting Alexa to say basically anything you want is now easier than ever – and the best thing about it – you don’t need to have any coding skills at all. Recently, Amazon has stated that they are introducing a new way to create Alexa skills.
An introduction to Alexa Skill Blueprints
Although 3rd-party skills have been around for a couple of years at this point, until recently, writing one meant that you had to have some actual coding experience. What’s more, it took some time to actually write one. This obviously kept many people away from the idea of ever setting up their own.
However, Alexa Skill Blueprints makes the task much easier.
Writing an Alexa skill now only requires filling out a couple of blanks. The idea behind Blueprints is to make it easy for an average user to create a skill or Q&A that will only run on Alexa devices. These skills could be anything from a custom joke response to certain questions to setting instructions for your housekeeper or babysitter.
How do the Alexa Skill Blueprints work?
So how can you create a list of skills in a matter of minutes? You need to log into Amazon’s Alexa site, find a list of templates, and start crafting your own Alexa skills – simple as that. And while some templates are more complicated than others, they all function on the same principle – pick the template and fill in the blanks.
The simple skills, mostly the insult and compliment ones, only require you to select from a few phrases you would like Alexa to say and name the skill. On the other hand, creating a babysitter skill is a little bit more complex and will take at least 30 minutes to complete. These particular skills have fields for items such as medications, allergies, emergency contacts, etc to streamline the process for you as much as possible.
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) April 19, 2018
Once you’re finished filling out the blanks, you need to click on “Create skill,” and you’re all done. That action will push your skill to your Amazon Alexa account and whatever device you have attached. We should warn you that the process takes a couple of minutes to complete, so you should have some patience.
If you want to activate the skill, just ask Alexa a certain question – as you would with any other integration. For a full list of actions, you need to visit the Blueprints website. There, you’ll be able to edit and sort your skills any way you please.
Blueprints Skills Vs. Standard Skills
Many people are wondering, are blueprint skills the same as the standard user-generated skills? Even though they are pretty similar, there are some noticeable differences between the two.
For starters, developers have the option to publish the skills they created on the Alexa Marketplace for anyone to use. In contrast, Blueprint skills are exclusively made for and tied specifically to your account. That means the skills you create with Blueprints can only work on the devices you own.
There are both positive and negative sides to that. On a positive note, if you make a skill with personal information about you or your family members, you surely don’t want it to be public. However, you won’t be able to share trivia games you designed with your friends either.
The Future of Alexa Skills Blueprints
So what does the future hold for Skills Blueprints? We know for sure that some people are going to use the platform to create weird trivia games and make Alexa say something inappropriate for a few minutes of viral fame.
But Amazon has bigger plans for the platform. For instance, you have the “Houseguests” skills template that allows users to leave important information for their guests. Moreover, the quiz and flashcards templates could be legitimately useful to students wanting to utilize modern tech like Alexa to study with.
When it’s all said and done, it’s definitely going to be exciting to see what users do with these new features. There are millions of Alexa users across the world and thanks to Amazon’s new platform; it’s now possible for them to fully customize their devices.