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Create a Skill and Choose the Interaction Model

You can use the developer console to create a new skill.

What You Need to Create a New Skill

To save a new skill, you need to provide:

  • A name that identifies the skill. When you publish the skill, this becomes the public name that customers will see in the skill store. You can edit this name before you publish if necessary.
  • The initial language to use. You can add support for additional languages later.
  • The interaction model that defines how users interact with your skill.

After you create a skill, the specific configuration options you need to provide depend on the specific model that you choose.

About Interaction Models

An interaction model determines:

  • The requests the skill can handle (for example, plan a trip, get a fact, turn on a light, find and play video content).
  • The words the user can say to invoke those requests:
    • "Alexa, tell plan my trip I want to go to Seattle"
    • "Alexa, ask cat facts for a fact"
    • "Alexa, turn on the living room lights"
    • "Alexa, play Manchester by the Sea"

For the custom model, you define the requests (intents) and the words (sample utterances) yourself. Your code then determines how your skill handles each intent.

For the pre-built models, the possible requests and utterances are pre-defined for you. Your code determines how your skill responds to those requests.

The following table summarizes the models you can select in the developer console.

Model Description What you build
Custom

Create a custom voice user interface for the skill. This gives you complete control over the experience.

You build an interaction model to define the requests the skill can handle (intents) and the words the users say to make these requests (sample utterances).

For details about skills with a custom model, see Understanding Custom Skills.

Flash Briefing

Create a skill that provides content for the user's flash briefing feed.

You provide an RSS or JSON feed with the content. Users invoke the skill by asking for their flash briefing.

For details about skills with the flash briefing model, see Understand the Flash Briefing Skill API.

Smart Home

Create a skill that controls smart home devices such as cameras, lights, locks, thermostats, and smart TVs.

The model defines the supported requests (such as turning on a light) and the words users say to invoke those requests ("Alexa, turn on the living room lights"). Your code determines how your skill responds to those requests.

For details about skills with the smart home model, see Understand the Smart Home Skill API.

Video

Create a skill that lets users find and consume video content.

The model defines the supported requests (such as finding a particular program to watch) and the words the users say to invoke those requests ("Alexa, play Manchester by the Sea"). Your code determines how the skill responds to those requests.

For details about skills with the video model, see Understand the Video Skill API.

Create a New Skill

Be sure to start the skill from the developer console.

To open the new console and create a new skill:

  1. Go to developer.amazon.com/alexa.
  2. Click Your Alexa Consoles and then click Skills. This opens the developer console and displays any skills you have already created.
  3. Click Create Skill.
  4. Enter the skill name. This is the name customers will see when you publish the skill. You can edit this name later on the Distribution page.

  5. If necessary, change the initial language for the skill, then click Next.

    You can add additional languages to the skill later.

  6. Click the Select button the model you want to include.

    For the pre-built models, click View example utterances to see examples of the built-in utterances users can say to interact with the skill.

    Select the interaction model when you create a new skill
    Select the interaction model when you create a new skill
  7. Click Create skill.

Configure Your Skill

Once the developer console has created your new skill, you can start to configure it on the Build page. The specific information you need to provide depends on the model you select.

See the following for each skill development phase:

Custom and pre-built interaction models:

The developer console: