In this video, Lee describes the different skill models that are available to choose from when building Alexa Skills. He also addresses custom skills which are the focus of this course.
- [Instructor] As a developer, you're allowed to choose from specific interaction models that have been predefined by Amazon when you are building skills. In this lesson, we're going to describe these different types of skills so you will understand the capabilities of the ecosystem and where custom skills fit in the picture. The first type of skill is a smart home skill. These skills control smart home devices such as cameras, lights, locks, and thermostats. Users may say, Alexa, turn off the living room lights, or, Alexa, lock the back door.
The way that users invoke this skill is well-established, and you simply have to define how the skills will respond to a particular directive. In this way, a smart home skill gives you less control over the user's experience and development is simplified, as you do not need to create the voice interface yourself. The next type of skill is a flash briefing skill. These provide content such as news for a user. The content is composed of audio that is played to a user or text that Alexa reads to the user.
This is another model that has well-established patterns for providing content when developing the skill. Video skills, as the name implies, allow a user to play and search for video content such as TV shows or movies. The skill API is similar to flash briefing skills and is well-defined. Up next are list skills. With these, developers can use list events to manage a list for a user. Actions such as adding an item to the list and removing or updating an item have well-established patterns.
This can be used to build grocery lists or to-do list Alexa skills, for example. Next are gadget skills. These are skills that control and receive input from Alexa gadgets like Echo Buttons. Echo Buttons connect to compatible Echo devices over Bluetooth. Developers can build skills that illuminate the buttons and react to button presses. They can create first to respond games, multiple choice games, sequence puzzles, sound effects generators, and much more.
Finally, there are custom skills, which is the focus of this course. These allow a developer the most control over the user's experience. As a developer, you define the requests that your skill can handle, the words a user may say to invoke those requests, and the name Alexa uses to identify your skill. A custom skill can handle any kind of request so long as you can create the code behind the scenes to fulfill that request and define the interaction model to let users invoke the request.
These are the skill types that are available at this time, but with the ecosystem in constant development, more skill types are expected to be added in the future.
- Reviewing Alexa basics
- Setting up your accounts and environment
- Identifying Alexa skills
- Building a custom Alexa skill
- Configuring skill functionality
- Testing skills
- Expanding skills
- Submitting a custom Alexa skill for certification