Even though there are 50,000 Alexa Skills, you can’t always find one that does what you want. Now, you can build your own to fill the gap using Alexa Blueprints, which launched in the US earlier in the year.
Alexa Blueprints uses a simple template system, where you fill in the blanks to make the voice assistant to what you want. Skills created work on any Amazon Alexa device, old or new (see, which Amazon Alexa speaker should you buy for more information).
The system launches with 22 templates, with groupings around four main areas: At Home, Fun and Games, Learning and Knowledge, and Storyteller.
At Home features templates for helping out around the home. For example, Home Guest helps you welcome guests to your home. Visitors can ask Alexa simple questions, such as ‘where is the spare toilet paper?’ or ‘what’s the Wi-Fi password’ and Alexa can respond. You can build one for babysitters, too, helping anyone looking after your kids find things they may need, such as pyjamas or food.
Under Fun and Games, you can create simple trivia games, have Alexa insult you with a roast, or have the voice assistant spurt compliments at you. Learning and Knowledge lets you build quizzes, create a list of facts or build revision flashcards.
For families, the Storyteller templates will appeal most, letting you put your children at the heart of Sci-Fi, Fairy Tale or Adventure books. You can either just change character names or delve in and rewrite the story from scratch.
New skills can be shared through email, text, WhatsApp or social media. Alexa Blueprints is available now on blueprints.amazon.co.uk and requires you to log in with your Amazon username and password.
Related: Amazon Alexa guide
The list of available templates is:
- Custom Q&A – Customise Alexa’s responses to questions that you set
- Sidekick – Funny and supportive comments turn Alexa into your perfect companion
- Houseguest – Welcome house guests to your home and help them find places to go and things in your house with this Q&A skill
- Pet Sitter – Someone looking after your pet? Let this Skill help the sitter find things and look after your animal
- Babysitter – Help the babysitter find things. Remember steps, and get important info
- Whose Turn – Stop the arguments and make Alexa work out whose turn it is to make the tea
- Chore chart – Keep your house tidy with this automated chore scheduling skill
- Flatmate – Leave important information for your flatmates, such as when the next bill is due
Fun & Games
- Roast – Dish out the insults to people in your house with this skill
- Inspirations – Pick your motivational quotes to inspire you
- Family Jokes – Tired of Alexa’s jokes? Make her say your favourites instead
- Compliments – Make Alexa be overly nice to friends and family (or yourself)
- Trivia – Create a multiple choice trivia game
- Family Trivia – Create a personalised family quiz
- Birthday Trivia – Create a personalised quiz for someone’s birthday
- What To Do – Let Alexa help you decide what to do
Learning & Knowledge
- Flashcards – Study, test yourself, and master any subject by voice with these revision notes
- Quiz – Challenge your friends with open-ended questions
- Facts – Build your own list of facts on a topic
- Sci-Fi – Create an interactive story with futuristic technology
- Fairy Tale – Create an interactive story with your child as a prince or princess
- Adventure – Create an adventure story with your child as the hero
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