Home Home Tech VIDEO: Amazon lets you create your own personalised Alexa skill 'in just minutes'

Amazon has introduced Alexa Skill Blueprints, billed as "a new way to create your own personalised skills and responses for Alexa".

Dubbed "Amazon Skill Blueprints", it's a "new way for customers to create customised Alexa responses and personalised skills" where you can "use simple templates to build your own trivia game, personalised stories, house sitter instructions, custom Alexa responses to questions, and more".

Using a set of easy-to-use templates, Amazon said "anyone can create customised experiences for Alexa within minutes just by filling in the blanks".

"Whether it’s your own answer to the question 'Alexa, who is the best grandmother in the world?' or a skill that offers helpful information for the babysitter, 'Alexa, open My Sitter', Alexa Skill Blueprints allow you to build experiences into Alexa that are personalised to you and help make Alexa even more useful around your home.

"The skills you create are specially designed by you, for you and your family. You can choose to keep them specifically for the devices registered to your Amazon account or enable sharing and send to friends or family by email, Facebook or message."

Kate Burleigh, the Australia and New Zealand country manager for Alexa Skills, said: "Alexa Skill Blueprints is an entirely new way for you to create personalised Alexa skills just for you and your family.

“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 fun to interact with Alexa in this new and personal way.”

We're told that "using Alexa Skill Blueprints is as easy as filling in the blanks. You can customise responses to questions like 'Alexa, what is the best city?' or 'Alexa, who has the best sense of humour?'

"You can also use Skill Blueprints to create an interactive adventure story with your child as the lead character, 'Alexa, start Anna’s Story', or create a skill to poke fun at Dad’s daggy one liners, 'Alexa, open Dad Jokes'. The skills and responses you create with Alexa Skill Blueprints will be available instantly on the devices associated with your account."

Getting started with Alexa Skill Blueprints:

Creating your own Alexa skill and responses is simple. Just follow these easy steps:

  • Select your Blueprint template by visiting the Alexa Skill Blueprints website
  • There you can browse more than 30 Skill Blueprints across four categories including Fun & Games, At Home, Storyteller, and Learning & Knowledge.
  • Unleash your creativity. Each Blueprint comes with pre-filled content that can be used as-is or customised as you like.
  • With just one click your skill will be available on all Alexa-enabled devices associated with your Amazon account. You can also see the list of skill Blueprints in the “Private Skills” section of the Alexa App.
  • To launch your personal skill just use the relevant name you’ve chosen, for example “Alexa, open House Guest” or “Alexa, start Dave’s story.”
  • Amazon explained that "there is no limit to the number of skills you can create. Need to add even more hilarious jokes to the “Dad Jokes” skill? No problem, editing is just as simple using the Alexa Skill Blueprints website."

Alexa Skill Blueprints available at launch include:

At Home

  • Custom Q&A: Customise responses to your questions.
  • House Guest: Make your guests feel at home with quick access to important info.
  • Babysitter: Help your sitter find things, remember steps and get important info.
  • Pet Sitter: Help your pet sitter care for your favourite animal.
  • Whose Turn: Figure out whose turn it is to do something by having Alexa choose for you.
  • Flatmate: Help your roommates by providing them with all the important information they should know.

Fun & Games

  • Family Jokes: Create a list of your favourite jokes for when you need a laugh.
  • Dad Jokes: Create a list of your favourite dad jokes.
  • Trivia: Create your own multiple choice trivia game on any topic.
  • Inspirations: Curate a list of your favourite inspirational quotes.
  • Family Trivia: Play together and brush up on family history.
  • Birthday Trivia: Play to see who knows the birthday girl or boy best.
  • Sledges: Roast your friends and family with light-hearted sledges.
  • Compliments: Flatter your favourites with a list of custom compliments.
  • First Letter: Play a game of categories starting with a certain letter.
  • World's Best Mum: Celebrate mum with a list of customised compliments.
  • World's Best Dad: Celebrate dad with a list of customised compliments.
  • Five Item Rush: Score your friends in this wacky categories game.
  • Sidekick: Alexa always has your back with these supportive and funny responses.
  • What To Do: Make choices fun and easy by having Alexa randomly choose an item from your list.
  • Three Word Sort: Train your brain in this topsy-turvy sorting game.

Storyteller

  • Adventure: Write an adventure story where your child is the hero.
  • Fairy Tale: Customise an interactive prince and princess-themed tale.
  • Sci-Fi: Create an interactive story with a far-out theme.
  • Fable: Create a short narrative with a moral of the story.
  • Spooky Story: Create an interactive spooky story with your child as the main character.
  • All About Mum: Surprise mum with a personalised story.
  • All About Dad: Surprise dad with a personalised story.
  • Story Quiz: Create a story and test your memory.

Learning & Knowledge

  • Flash Cards: Study, test yourself, and master any subject by voice.
  • Facts: Keep a list of facts on your favourite topic, all in one place.
  • Quiz: Challenge yourself and others with a customisable quiz.
  • Listening Quiz: Listen and recall what you’ve learnt with this listening quiz skill.

To get started with Alexa Skill Blueprints visit the website here, while you'll find answers to frequently asked questions here

Here's a video of the US version of the service which was launched earlier this year:

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

 

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