On Thursday (April 19), Amazon announced Alexa Skill Blueprints, a new way for anyone to create their own skills for the virtual assistant.
In a press release, the eCommerce giant said customers can use a set of templates to make personalized skills in minutes by filling in the blanks. For example, a user can program Alexa to answer the question “who is the best mom in the world?” or provide instructions for a babysitter.
By launching Alexa Skill Blueprints, Amazon said customers will be able to make their voice-activated digital assistant much more useful, because the skills are specifically designed for the individual household. The personalized skills will only show up on Alexa devices that are registered to the customer’s Amazon account.
“Alexa Skill Blueprints is an entirely new way for you to teach Alexa personalized skills just for you and your family,” said Steve Rabuchin, vice president, Amazon Alexa in the press release. “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.”
The categories for which customers can make personalized skills include Q&As, houseguest, babysitter and pet sitter information, family jokes, trivia, compliments and burns, adventure, fairy tale and Sci-Fi story creation, and learning and knowledge.
The new service comes as Amazon looks to control the voice-activated digital assistant market. Alexa, which powers a suite of Echo devices, has been a huge success for the eCommerce giant, which is ahead of its rivals by a wide margin. To maintain its lead, the company is constantly churning out new capabilities for Alexa. Just this month, it announced that Alexa can now make donations for customers and Alexa announcements, which enable the Echo to function as a one-way intercom that lets users broadcast messages throughout their homes.