There’s smart home customization and then there’s the new Alexa Blueprint, which allows everyday users to skip the complicated development process to create a few of their own fun “skills.” This highly customizable route is on-trend with what we can expect to see from smart home technology in the future as it continues to evolve.
Amazon introduced “Alexa Blueprints,” a new feature now available on Alexa-enabled devices, as a way for users to personalize the content that is available to them. Typically, apps – or skills as Amazon calls them – require coding and development knowledge, and have to be consistently monitored, managed, and updated. That is way too much for the average person. Amazon has offered a creative solution for this, which basically uses templated skills that let you “fill in the blanks” with personalized content.
The new feature launched with 20 skills that are templated for users, including things like having a skill dish out custom compliments for a family member, creating your own trivia games, developing educational quizzes, and even leaving a welcome “note” for houseguests.
The compliments template has some fun potential to use for things like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and birthdays. It could also be used to try to make up with someone after a fight, if that’s the kind of thing that happens in your household…
The trivia games template has a lot of useful applications, also. You can test your friends’ knowledge of a certain subject, set up trivia just for a specific person for special events, craft questions around a themed occasion like a holiday, or even create a fun round of questions just about your own family history or to see which couples know each other best.
For those that are still in school, Blueprints can offer some relief in the studying department through quizzes, flashcards, and fact lists. Instead of listening to music or news, students can work on memorizing important subjects.
The houseguest template can be customized for babysitters, pet sitters, house sitters, and even contractors. The skill can include information about your home’s security and neighborhood, important emergency contacts, allergies, and reminders. It’s also a great way to help these houseguests find things around your home. There is also a template for creating a customized Q&A, which can be useful for houseguests, especially if you’ll be away and unreachable while they are staying at your place.
Other applications for this new feature include creating interactive stories with themes like fairy tales, sci-fi, fables, and adventure. You can also create game shows (which can be used with Echo Buttons, of course), keep a collection of your personal inspirational quotes, curate your family’s favorite jokes, and stimulate creative thinking with blueprints for category games that require each answer to start with a specific letter.
Of course, in the end, this is just another way to get people of all ages interested in and interacting with Amazon’s flagship smart home speaker, the Echo.
It’s still a fun evolution for this smart home technology, though.