Amazon announced this week that it is opening up Alexa skills creation to non-programmers via a new tool called Alexa Skill Blueprints. This system works like a digital version of Mad Libs, where you “fill in the blanks” in a template.
“Alexa Skill Blueprints is an entirely new way for you to teach Alexa personalized skills just for you and your family,” Amazon vice president Steve Rabuchin said in a prepared 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.”
You can find the tool at the Amazon Alexa Skill Template website. There, you will find about 20 blueprints across four categories. For example, Houseguest lets you can customize a greeting for guests that includes information about your home and neighborhood. And Trivia helps you create a trivia game for your family to enjoy.
Looking at the blueprints, they indeed seem simple enough for any user. And this is a smart addition to the Alexa platform: Amazon controls the market for digital personal assistants today, but the gap with Google is closing rapidly. Amazon’s ability to turn up the functional heat like this is impressive.
Alexa Skill Blueprints are currently available in the US only.