New Alexa Blueprints let users make custom skills without knowing any code

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The Alexa Skills you create only appear on devices registered to your Amazon account.

These custom responses can be created at blueprints.amazon.com, reports TechCrunch. Here they can listen to a sample of the skill and read instructions on how to create and use the app.

"Alexa Skill Blueprints is an entirely new way for you to teach Alexa personalized skills just for you and your family", said Amazon's Alexa Vice President Steve Rabuchin. Developers who want to add to Alexa's abilities can write code that works with Alexa in the cloud, letting the smart assistant do the heavy lifting of understanding and deciphering spoken commands.

Amazon has opened up Alexa to the masses, likely set the stage for Alexa Skill sprawl and enabled parents to annoy kids with corny jokes.

You can pre-order the Echo Spot from today for $199, and it will be available on April 26th. You can also use Skill Blueprints to create an interactive adventure story with your child as the lead character, "Alexa, start Anna's Story", or create a skill to poke fun at Dad's corny one liners, "Alexa, open Dad's Jokes".

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Of particular interest, if your question is one that already exists in Alexa's database, the answer you supply here will supplant the stock answer. Skill or some other trivia Skill available. And Airbnb owners could set up a skill for their houseguests.

Users without tech or coding skills can create custom responses to questions. You'll also be able to enable, disable and delete your skills.

The new smart speaker comes in a smaller design compared to Amazon's other voice controlled devices, and includes a circular display screen to complement Alexa, the smart assistant that powers Echo devices.

All three are competing to be the voice assistant people use in their home, but Alexa so far is leading by a wide margin - it still has roughly 70 percent of the smart speaker market.

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

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