Last April, Amazon released a tool called Alexa Skill Blueprints that let anyone build a voice skill from a set of templates. The idea was to let users create their own quizzes, chore charts, and custom greetings without having to know any code.
Now Amazon will let users share those Blueprints with other Echo users or publish them to the Alexa Skills Store, where they’ll live alongside Alexa’s 80,000 existing voice skills. This could allow educators to publish their own flash cards, or trivia geeks to distribute their own quizzes.
Amazon is also adding a few new types of Blueprints: WordPress users can have Alexa read blog posts from an RSS feed, while universities or spiritual groups will be able to share recorded audio. (It sounds like the latter will be vetted by Amazon before publishing.) Alexa’s Flash Briefing skill is opening up to local news agencies and community groups as well, so they can upload recorded audio on what’s happening around town.
Blueprints seemed a bit gimmicky when they launched last year, but being able to publish dynamic sources of content (such as blog posts) could make them a lot more interesting.