Amazon’s Alexa Blueprints Let Users Create Customized Skills

Amazon has introduced Alexa Blueprints, a simplified way for users to make their own customized skills for use in Alexa and Alexa-compatible devices like the Echo line.

Amazon

Amazon has outlined a number of possible skills on its new Alexa Blueprints page. Users can create guides for houseguests, customized Q&As, babysitter and pet sitter helpers, and much more.

But helpful guides aren’t the only skills users can create, as it’s clear Amazon wants to keep Blueprints casual. Other skills include quizzes, jokes, custom compliments and even “lighthearted burns.” Below, a video from Alexa developers shows how users can create a family trivia skill.

Alexa Blueprints require no coding — rather, creating a skill only requires users to customize a series of empty text boxes and/or choose from a list of drop down options in a menu.

The custom Q&A feature means you can pretty much make Alexa answer any question in any way you want. While that opens up a number of amusing possibilities from the start, it also creates the potential for a number of house-specific tips and tricks.

The Blueprints system isn’t too dissimilar to IFTTT, which we’ve featured in a number of guides. Except, of course, Blueprints is tied to Amazon and its Alexa system.

[Check out our article Ten Alexa Skills To Turn Your House Into A Smart Home.]

There is one important possible security concern to note, however: this degree of personal customization could have users revealing a little more about their home lives than they anticipated. Whether Alexa device owners are worried about that in the first place is up for debate, but there is a difference between getting a general news update or turning off lights..and telling Alexa more specific details about family members or home life.

For now, Alexa Blueprints are only available in the U.S.

Phil Dzikiy

Phil Dzikiy

Phil Dzikiy is the former editor in chief of Security Baron. Before, he has worked as a freelance writer and editor at websites like Wirecutter.com and iLounge.com along with publications like the Lockport Union Sun & Journal and the Greater Niagara Newspapers. With digital and print experience under his belt, Phil has a passion for all things technology including home security, cyber security, and the smart home. His bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland College Park initially landed Phil his first job at the Beaver County Times, which has lead to over 15 years of experience as a journalist.

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