Amazon recently released Alexa Blueprints, a set of DIY apps that anyone can make—no coding skills are required. Users create personalized and customized voice commands and replies. The templates are easy to use to make the voice assistant say what the user wants, and you don’t need to be technologically savvy to make it happen.
For example, you can create custom questions and answers, i.e, Question: “Alexa, who should take the kids to baseball practice?” Answer: “Not you, David, go bowling with your buddies instead.”
Users can also program Alexa to tell dirty jokes, play fun games, or compliment them on their good looks and charming personalities reported CNN. Basically, users are telling Alexa what to say. Unfortunately, there’s no way to connect it to outside apps.
One entertaining application is story templates. Users can write a story and insert customized fun sounds and phrases before it starts. Users can also program Blueprints to include emergency contact information, daily schedules, and other helpful facts such as a household member’s list of allergies.
It can be a great backup for parents, who may want to use Blueprints to instruct children to do their chores or go to sleep. It’s unclear if it would work for a couple trying to settle an argument (it probably depends on their sense of humour).
To set it up, visit blueprints.amazon.com and pick a template—there are more than 20 currently available. Many include suggested text that you can change with different insults, phrases, jokes, etc. Then all you have to do is name the Blueprint and save it. The Blueprint will only be available on your personal Alexa-enabled device.
The Amazon Echo is one of the most popular smart speakers available but is being challenged by companies such as Google and Apple. However, neither Google Home nor Apple’s HomePod features the type of customization available in Blueprints.