JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks and Myer to resell Amazon's Echo Spot

JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks and Myer to resell Amazon's Echo Spot

Alexa just received a pretty hefty upgrade with "Alexa Blueprints"; a new feature that lets you create custom responses to your voice requests. It is called "Alexa Skill Blueprints", and it allows users to create custom skills for Alexa without requiring any programming knowledge.

There are more than 30,000 Alexa skills available, and they all have one thing in common: They weren't made by you. To make things even simpler Amazon has separated all the different blueprints out into their own respective categories with a handful in each one so users should find what they're looking for without much of an issue, if there are any issues at all.

Amazon's decision to open the digital brain up to developers and device manufacturers in 2015 has contributed to its early lead in the competitive smart speaker race. Alexa Skill Blueprints will allow average household owners to customize a wide range of questions with questions and answers. Amazon has an Alexa Blueprints page set up with 21 templates (more to come).

The custom questions and answers are surely going to keep Alexa users busy tinkering with the new feature for a while. Each blueprint comes with pre-filled content that can be used as-is or customized as you like. Depending on which blueprint you select, you'll be taken to a separate webpage for that particular framework with additional information on it.

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Once I got over the initial gimmicky phase, it became clear that Alexa Blueprints are strategic on many fronts.

Creating a skill is relatively straightforward. Each can be edited to suit a user's needs, and there is a button to add more. Any user can program custom responses to specific questions or commands without any coding or tech skills being required.

Once you've done that you can then pick from a variety of templates (aka blueprints) and begin crafting your own responses. After naming your trivia game, it will be accessible within minutes on all of the Alexa devices associated with your Amazon account.

The feature is rolling out in the United States today.

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