There are more than 30,000 Alexa skills available, and they all have one thing in common: They weren't made by you. Amazon's Skill Blueprints looks to change that.
Amazon says the newly announced Skill Blueprints will make skill creation more accessible, by offering customers customizable templates they can use to make their own skills for the voice-powered Alexa assistant.
Starting today (April 19), Amazon is making available 20 skill blueprints across several categories: Home, Fun & Games, Storyteller, and Learning & Knowledge. Using those templates, Alexa users will be able to create a skill for their corniest jokes, a trivia game, or an interactive story, to name three examples.
To create a skill, go to blueprints.amazon.com, and select a template to get started. You can either use pre-filled content, or add your own. When you're finished, the skill will be available on all Alexa-enabled devices with your account; they won't be available to the general public.
Other examples of skills you can create include ones for helping a pet or baby sitter find things around your house; virtual flash cards to help you study; and a Bachelorette Party trivia game.
While there are a plethora of Alexa skills—humor, trivia, cooking, sports, productivity, smart home, and more—making it easier for consumers to create their own skills should help keep Amazon maintain its competitive advantage against Google Assistant and other challengers in the digital assistant space.