Alexa Skill Blueprints - Create your own Family Trivia Game

As Amazon notes, the skills Alexa users create are specially designed for that person and their family members, and will only appear on the devices registered to the owners Amazon account.

Amazon this morning is introducing "Alexa Blueprints", a new way for any Alexa owner to create their own customized Alexa skills or responses, without needing to know how to code. Users can create skills for games, learning, connected home, and storytelling, according to the website.

Once I got over the initial gimmicky phase, it became clear that Alexa Blueprints are strategic on many fronts.

The Alexa software, most often found in Amazon's Echo-branded speakers, already has thousands of custom applications, called Skills, built by independent software developers and corporate technologists. Each can be edited to suit a user's needs, and there is a button to add more. The templates are even pre-filled and work as is, if you just want to try them out before making your own. College students could use the flash cards custom skill when studying, while a group of friends or roommates could design their own trivia games.

The Echo Spot will be available in-store and shipped out to customers on 26 April, with pre-orders starting today on Amazon Australia for $199.

There are three sections to a template: Content, Experience, and Name. Amazon has an Alexa Blueprints page set up with 21 templates (more to come). You can have fun customizing responses to questions like "Alexa, what is the best city?" or "Alexa, who has the best sense of humor?"

After you've created the custom skill, it will be available in the Skills You've Made webpage on the Blueprints site. Any user can program custom responses to specific questions or commands without any coding or tech skills being required.

Each page features two sections: "How to create", with steps on building that particular skill, and "How to use", which explains the process for using the skill.

If you're in the US, this functionality is available right now, but if you're elsewhere it seems you might be able to access it by changing your Alexa language settings to "English US" in your Alexa app (although we haven't been able to verify this ourselves just yet).

  • Fernando Stephens