Amazon’s AI voice assistant Alexa has become a household name off lately. This has a lot to do with the Amazon’s integration of its voice assistant across all its smart devices. Amazon Echo devices particularly are known for their Alexa integration and Alexa skills are what make the platform unique and immensely useful.
Amazon clearly does not want to limit it’s voice assistant to its devices and is making every effort to make Alexa transcend across barriers. Alexa now supports a lot of 3rd-party external devices like speakers and that helps in bringing in a lot of consumer base for Amazon. It is even collaborating with home appliance manufacturers like Wipro, Syska to integrate Alexa with their smart home devices. Alexa now has support from various audio streaming platforms like AIR, Radio Mirchi, TED talks, Gaana and Saavn.
It has tied up with cab services like Uber and Ola to make the cab booking seamless. It also has collaborations in other fields such as Sports, education, and devotion which helps make Alexa a complete package to cater everyone’s needs at home. The other big improvement in Alexa is that it uses the previous question’s data to understand the context. This truly helps in building a conversation with AI.
Alexa Skills Kit
Amazon has launched the Alexa Skills Kit for the developers some time ago to allow users to build their own programs by coding. They provided them with all the required libraries to fabricate new Skills to Alexa which can be used by that user. If the program you have developed serves a common interest, then you might even publish your program on Alexa Skills Store for other users to implement.
But Amazon was not content with this flexibility and it wanted even normal users to be able to build their own skills. To make this possible, Amazon now launched Alexa Skill Blueprints. This is a platform which allows you to build your own program without any coding prerequisite. They’ve launched several blueprints (templates) to help you out in creating your own Alexa skill.
How to create your own Alexa Skill?
Creating a new Alexa skill has become simpler than ever. All you have to do is:
- Go to blueprints.amazon.in
- Select a Blueprint which you want to use to create a skill ( Custom Q&A, FairyTale, Houseguest etc)
- Click on ” Make Your Own”
- Feed in the trigger Questions for Alexa to recognize. You can add multiple versions to make the question and answers seem more realistic.
- Feed in the Answers that Alexa has to give to the corresponding questions.
- Once you are done with it, you can hit on Next: Create Skill and your skill will be updated across all your Alexa devices in few minutes.
- The process remains same even if you want to feed a story as a skill to Alexa.
- You can add custom audio effects, pauses and fun expressions to make the storytelling more lively.
- One the skill is created, you can just ask your Alexa the question or to open the skill and it will give its response according to your given inputs.
As of now, there are Blueprints for creating Stories, House guide for guests, Quizzes & Flashcards, roasting your friends, and acting as your sidekick.
This new move from Amazon sure deserves a mention and we can expect to see lot more innovation in this arena in near future.