Amazon Alexa platform has more capabilities than any other smart home system and gives the Echo and Echo Dot a lot of things to use It really is nowhere else to be found. But the coolest addition to the Alexa Skills lineup is one that lets you use your own skills only in your household. These skills, called blueprints, are very easy to set up, ranging from a tremendous amount of fun to a serious and potentially life-saving resource.

How to use Blueprints for your Amazon Echo.

What is a blueprint?

Amazon has created a series of question and answer shells based on a range of topics, making it easy for you to add the answers you want. Blueprints transforms this collection of responses into separate capabilities so that everyone in your home can access this information and use it at their own discretion. Currently, blueprints are built so that you can create your own private versions of a lot of different things. Amazon divides these into four categories:

  • At Home is a collection of skills for interacting with your family. This can be important information, such as how to contact the veterinarian, a pet sit-down or a list of instructions for the babysitter. Or you can create a collection of your favorite places in the city so that guests can hear them.

  • Storyteller is full of ways to write your own stories that Alexa can complete with sound effects at the right time. You can create special bedtime stories for kids when you're away from home, scary stories during an overnight stay, or longer stories with your favorite princess or hero.

  • Learning & Knowledge is the category for education. You can create flashcard-like questions to get your echo fired on as you prepare for the day, compile a collection of facts to read to you while you cook, or create a quiz on a favorite topic to help you Learning helps.

  • Fun & Games is by far the largest section filled with unique smiles, either alone or with a group. Create a couple quiz for your friends to get in trouble with them, add jokes just to get your family to a special skill or how far you can play the alphabet game with your kids.

The key to these blueprints is they are easy to make and belong only to you. These skills are created in your account and only work with your connected echo units, so you can have fun building something that will not leave your home.

How to Create an Alexa Blueprint

Create your own Alexa Blueprint does not happen within the Alexa app, but from the special Blueprint website. You can access this site from your phone or computer. To start with your blueprint, you must first select from the list of available options which type of skill to create.

Once selected, you will be directed to a form to fill in the answers Alexa needs to answer as many questions as possible. Some of these questions are needed to complete the skill. If you try to proceed to the next step without answering these questions, the website will prompt you with a red text to complete these sections.

After you have answered all questions in the section Customize Tap the blue button Next: Experience to get to the next section. The Experience part of the blueprint covers the way Alexa responds to the opening and closing of the skill.

You can personalize these messages at your discretion and add as many alternate answers as are needed for your skill multiple times in a day. Once you've completed this section, you can name your skill and send it to your Alexa account.

At Amazon, you can not provide your skill with something it can not pronounce in your language, but there are other limitations. Special characters and punctuation cause some problems, so you may want to try some names before accepting one.

Once a name has been approved, you will be asked to sign in to your Amazon account and the skill will be uploaded to your Echo units. It will take a few minutes, but when it's done, you'll see a green bar over the skill and you'll be ready to go!

How to use a blueprint on your echo

Besides the name of your skill, the Blueprint web site contains the verbal command that you can read. This is usually something simple like "Alexa, open X", where X is the name of the skill you created in Blueprint.

As soon as you can access the blueprint from your echo, it will be available on every echo. Amazon Account

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