Alexa Skill Blueprints Let You Create Custom Responses

The new interface, which reminds me of IFTTT, offers a bunch of templates to quickly create custom Alexa skills.

Skills are Alexa apps that provide Amazon's assistant with additional features. New Alexa Skill Blueprints allow you to create your own personalized Alexa skills, even if you don't know how to code. Amazon Alexa VP Steve Raubuchin explained in a statement that the goal of the feature is to give users more customization and control over Alexa responses, without having to build skills or having coding experience. Amazon did not indicate if or when the feature would be available in other regions. You'll need to sign in with your Amazon account in order to get started, as the responses are kept private to your own Amazon Echo devices. If it's your first time using a template, follow the step-by-step tutorial provided. Each blueprint comes with pre-filled content that can be used as-is or customised, meaning you can edit the examples or add your own.

After you've created the custom skill, it will be available in the Skills You've Made webpage on the Blueprints site. You won't need to go through a series of complicated steps, and no technical knowledge is required. 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 US with no word on when it will expand to other regions. When I'm able to customize Alexa's responses to my questions, that's where I change a tune.

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If you named your custom skill, "John's Birthday", you can just say, "Alexa, open John's Birthday skill".

The Echo Spot include Amazons second generation far-field technology with four microphones, acoustic beam-forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation which Amazon says allows the Echo Spot to hear you from across the room.

Once you've done that you can then pick from a variety of templates (aka blueprints) and begin crafting your own responses. Kids have readily taken to Alexa, and today there are almost 500 public Alexa skills built for kids alone.

  • Delia Davidson