Amazon intros Blueprints, code free templates to create Alexa skills

Amazon is giving the average layperson the option to program basic Alexa skills.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Video: Custom Alexa skills: How the average person can make one in minutes

Amazon has introduced a series of no-code, fill-in-blank templates that let anyone build Alexa skills specifically for their personal Amazon account.

Alexa is the brain of Amazon's Echo and digital assistant efforts, and the Alexa skills are voice-activated apps, usually built by third-party developers, that allow Alexa to deliver additional services and features.

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With the the new Alexa Skill Blueprints, Amazon is giving the average layperson the option to program basic Alexa skills, like answering the question, "Who is the best mom ever?" Or for the slightly more advanced, an interactive adventure story that's personalized to your child.

There are currently 20 skill blueprints across four categories, including Fun & Games, At Home, Storyteller, and Learning & Knowledge. Each blueprint comes with pre-filled content that can be customized or used as-is. The skills will only show up on devices associated with the Amazon account from which it was created.

TechRepublic: Amazon Alexa: The smart person's guide

The big theme Amazon is trumpeting here is personalized experiences. The idea is to get Alexa users more involved with their Alexa-powered devices, thereby drawing them deeper into the Alexa ecosystem.

"Alexa Skill Blueprints is an entirely new way for you to teach Alexa personalized skills just for you and your family," said Steve Rabuchin, VP of Amazon Alexa, in a statement. "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 a blast to interact with Alexa in a totally new and personal way."

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