Amazon introduced Alexa Skill Blueprints, tools to add jokes, houseguest instructions, or other custom content to the voice-activated software without learning how to code.
Amazon is making it easier to tinker with Alexa.
The Seattle company on Thursday introduced a slate of templates that can be used to build custom apps for its voice-activated software. Called Alexa Blueprints, the guides let users write answers to custom questions — say, “what’s the best city in the world?” — or set up trivia and games.
There are also more practical options, like programming instructions for a babysitter or house guest.
The Alexa software, most often found in Amazon’s Echo-branded speakers, already has thousands of custom applications, called Skills, built by independent software developers and corporate technologists.
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The new Skill Blueprints functionality is an effort to open up that kind of customization to people without a background in software. Unlike Skills, which are offered through a central marketplace to the tens of millions of owners of Alexa devices, Blueprint functions are limited to devices connected to a user’s Amazon account.
Twenty-one templates were available on Thursday, and Amazon says that selection will grow.