Amazon Adds new Publishing Feature to Alexa Blueprints

Many Amazon Alexa users have been able to enjoy the new Alex Blueprints function that the online retail giant introduced last year.  This is a new function that allows Alexa owners to create their own customized voice skills complete with Alexa responses.  Most important, though, anyone can, essentially, program these customizable skills without needing any knowledge of or experience with coding.  

Initially, these skills were quite simple. Users could add things like family trivia or tips for the babysitter, little things that could make your home life easier. This might also include instructions for houseguests or new games you might want to play when your family comes to town or even educational tools like flashcards and quizzes.  Then you would be able to publish these skills for personal use; which was also followed by the ability to share these skills with other users, via link.  

Today, though, Amazon is adding yet more features that provide you with deeper options. Most notably, you can now publish your customized skills publicly to the US Alexa Skills store.  Along with this feature, Amazon has also planned to launch four new blueprints aimed specifically at assisting content creators, major organizations, and bloggers. 

If you have not yet experienced Amazon Blueprints, all you need to know is that these are simple online tools anyone can use to build voice skills using the Amazon Alexa technology.  These blueprints, then, act as templates you can customize to accommodate whatever “skill” you want Alexa to learn. 

Again, these blueprints were originally designed for family use in the home but they have been expanding the offering since its launch in April 2018.  Until this week there have been 50 voice blueprints available, which all fall into six categories.  Today, though, Amazon is launching another four templates.  This means that in addition to the recent addition of basic and special-occasion greeting skills form Hallmark, Amazon Alexa will now also give you the ability to create and publish content in the Alexa Skills Store alongside news outlets like NPR and the BBC.  Bloggers will also be able to publish skills using WordPress.