What are Custom Alexa Skills?

What are Custom Alexa Skills?

Every brand needs a voice.
Custom Alexa Skills are that voice.

Like apps for a smartphone, Custom Skills are programs that can be added onto your Alexa-enabled device to make it more useful, informative and fun.

There are three main types of Skills, offering different ways in which you can give your brand a voice.

Custom Skills

The common household skill, almost all skills are custom skills. Popular custom skills include:

Uber – order a ride without pulling your phone out from your pocket
Ted Talks – just call out “Hey Alexa, ask TED Talks to play the latest talk.” You will be treated to an inspiring talk from the comfort of your couch
Dominos – The ultimate enabler: order a pizza delivery without lifting a finger

Custom Skills are the most versatile kind of skill available on all Alexa enabled devices. Due to their sheer versatility, we recommend Custom skills for most brands. However, there are always exceptions.

“Alexa, turn the hallway lights on”

Smart Home Skills

All smart home devices have apps to control them. These skills take home automation to the next level by taking away the necessity of a smartphone. Instead just talk to Alexa and she will control them for you. Easier said than done.

At VErSA we love LIFX’s skill. Commands can be as simple as “Alexa, turn the hallway lights on” to the highly specific: “Alexa, make the hallway lights Green 10%” (The lights will create a soft green glow only in the hallway)

If you are marketing a smart home device, you need to get it an intuitively designed Smart Home Skill.

Flash Briefing Skills

Perfect for when you’re eating breakfast or just walking into the house after work. This type of skill is made for Alexa’s “Flash Briefing” ability. Just say “Alexa, give me my flash briefing” and you will get a quick rundown on the latest headlines.

In Australia, the default is SBS News, however, you can customise your Flash Briefing to include any number of current affairs or sports news, such as ABC, Ten, Seven, Any AFL club. Even the 2018 Brisbane Commonwealth Games have a Flash Briefing skill.

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