Now anyone can create and publish an Alexa skill in minutes, with no coding required, using Alexa Skill Blueprints. Amazon first made it easy to create custom skills last year with its Alexa Skill Blueprints program, and it’s taking those custom responses and allowing them to be published in the store for everyone to download and use. There are currently more than 80,000 existing Alexa skills in the store, but today’s announcement means the store will be growing significantly with user-generated custom skills.
You can, for example, make a skill that prompts Alexa to read out your blog entries, while the personal trainer template opens the door for gyms and coaches to guide you through workouts. Amazon also suggests that tutors could use flashcards and facts blueprints to help students learn, and the quiz option to test their knowledge. Spiritual groups and universities can offer live and recorded audio, which could be useful if you can’t make a sermon or lecture.
Bloggers using WordPress with the Amazon AI plugin will also be able to automatically publish their blog posts as audio on Alexa through an RSS feed. Even universities or religious organizations could make live or recorded audio available on Alexa devices. There are a variety of Skill Blueprints to choose from, although you’re limited to the sandbox Amazon is offering. Amazon will also review and then publish skills to its store, so your custom joke responses about your favorite football teams won’t be making their way through. Amazon is excluding custom responses from being published to the store.
Amazon has also opened up the flash briefing skill. As such, people will be able to add updates from the likes of local news outlets and sports teams to their own flash briefing.
It will now be interesting to see exactly how Amazon controls what is and isn’t allowed in its Alexa skill store.
Read Also: Office 365 is Now Available on Mac App Store