Video: Custom Alexa skills: How the average person can make one in minutes
Amazon has opened up Alexa to the masses, likely to set the stage for an Alexa Skill sprawl and to enable parents to annoy kids with corny jokes. And it's kinda brilliant.
The company launched Alexa Skill Blueprints, a series of fill-in-the-blanks templates, that allow anyone to create a custom Alexa Skill in a few minutes. The code-free approach has 20 Skill Blueprints that revolve around things like family history, house instructions, and bad Dad jokes.
I gave Alexa Blueprints a spin and it operated as advertised. It really only took a few minutes, but then again, I wasn't looking to change the world. All I was aiming for was to have Alexa remember the Wi-Fi password so I didn't have to ask my daughters (again). The Alexa Skills you create only appear on devices registered to your Amazon account.
Alexa Skill Blueprints will soon be like space junk as everyone becomes a developer. Why did we build that Alexa Skill? Because we can. Amazon emphasized that there's no limit to the numbers of skills you can create.
Now, Amazon started with templates for house guests guides, babysitter directions, trivia, compliments and stories, but the company will build out the Alexa Blueprint library.
Once I got over the initial gimmicky phase, it became clear that Alexa Blueprints are strategic on many fronts. In addition, these personalized Alexa Skills will just add to the smart home, e-commerce, and ecosystem moat that surrounds Amazon's business. Consider the following:
Amazon with Alexa Blueprints is doing what Apple can't (or wouldn't do) and Google lacks the DNA for.
Alexa becomes part of every family as soon as the personalized skills get rolling.
Kids, and potentially future developers, are going to be building these family Alexa Skills. These budding developers are likely to be AWS customers in the future.