What is an Amazon Alexa skill?

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How to find Alexa skills developer?

I’ve been announcing it for a long time, the big technology companies are betting heavily on virtual assistants and home devices or smart speakers. In this race to colonize our homes, Google and Amazon announced their arrival. However, at the hands of Amazon and Alexa there is a new concept that has come to the fore: the skills. An innovative term that is raising doubts and causing the question “what is an Amazon Alexa skill?” Sneaks in all meetings.

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So that you are an expert in this technology, in this post I am going to focus on a series of aspects that you must take into account when handling this new concept and environment.

1. What is it?

The first thing you have to be clear about is what a skill is. So that you can assimilate the concept in a simple way, we will say that Alexa’s skills are like the applications you download on your smartphone. Through the Alexa application or a website, you can incorporate or disable these skills. Somehow, an Alexa skill is similar to a web application: there is an interface and a server. When interacting with an ability, users talk with Alexa-enabled hardware as the interface, instead of typing in a browser. Alexa developers create the voice interface code for a skill in the Amazon developer console, instead of HTML and CSS on a web server.

2. What kind of skills is there?

Absolutely of all kinds. Just like today you find in Apple Store or Google Play a wide variety of applications with which to perform almost any activity, now you already find skills in recipes, games, home automation, music … Although among the most used are those that allow to activate some household components such as heating, television and even the rumba robot.

3. Where to find the development manual in these environments?

With so much information have you wanted to start developing Skills? You might need a good app developer to do it. The first tool to move around in this world is Alexa Skills Kit, a set of tools, codes, documentation and, of course, API so that all developers who want to can integrate and develop Skills. In this way, Amazon opens the door to all interested developers to include their developments on the platform and so that users can activate them. Currently, there are more than 30,000 active skills in English.

At the same time, we found Alexa Voice Services, a product similar to the previous one but which aims to allow developers to integrate Alexa directly into their products. In this way, with AVS, developers can really integrate Alexa into their own hardware device, be it a loudspeaker, a bedside alarm or even something bigger, like a vending machine with which they can interact using voice commands. The commands help us a lot to transform what we really want to the applicable solutions.

To note, Amazon offers an AWS credit of $ 100 per month for public skills, and I have not yet incurred a charge for my immobile development skills. So, unless you create the skills of Angry Birds of Alexa, chances are you can use AWS Lambda for free to host your skills.

Final Words

Today we can say that Home Devices or Smart Speakers will colonize your home in a matter of months. The big companies in the sector are promoting that and I have no doubt that next Christmas and Black Friday, Amazon Echo, Google Home or HomePod will be the gift in many homes. Hopefully this article can increase your knowledge. Thank you for reading!

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