question

SlickUms avatar image
SlickUms asked

Can a Skill be 'Private', for use by a single user?

NooB dev here...:) I started looking at developing a skill for my grandson who has a small speech impediment. He is thrilled with the Echo and, sorta, thinks Alexa is a real person talking to him over a phone connection of some kind! Anyway, I would like to develop some sort of Skill that would encourage him to use words and phrases he has difficulty with; not as a rote training session, but as a more 'personal' conversation, or perhaps a game type format. The important thing is to make it personal for him, which I can do because I know the details of his environment, likes, dislikes, curiosities, school, etc. I see no future of this effort being monetized or even made public. Ok that's a broad first brush of my goal, and the next thing is: Can I make this Skill so it is ONLY available on his Echo, and not other Echo owners? Thanks!
alexa skills kitdebugging
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jjaquinta avatar image
jjaquinta answered
If you create a skill as a developer, and never submit it for certification, you are the only one who will be able to use it. So, as long as your grandson is using an echo linked to your developer account, that should do it for you. I would encourage you to look at the "Flashcard" sample in the EchoProofOfConcepts project on GitHub: https://github.com/jjaquinta/EchoProofOfConcepts You can probably use that as a basis for what you want to do. It's an audio derivation of an app I wrote for mobile to help my daughter. I had a similar intention of allowing for customization. I put it up for her class, and added in the names of all the kids in the class. Her own personal copy had the gods and goddesses from Greek mythology added as well!
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James L Guinn avatar image
James L Guinn answered
I believe any skills you develop are private, inherently, until/unless you promote them to the market. So short answer = Yes. Additionally, your skill will get assigned an application id which your code can check for to make sure no one can maliciously call your skill. I don't know what the threat of this happening to a private skill in development is, but the docs clearly indicate this is a good practice. Hope this helps, Jim
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Nick Gardner avatar image
Nick Gardner answered
The answers already given are correct. As long as you do not submit them for certification you and anyone else with access to your developer account will be the only people with access to your skills. Keep in mind that unless you lock down your server based on the app ID it might be possible for other people to access your skill by directly querying your server. Thanks, Nick
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SlickUms avatar image
SlickUms answered
Thanks to all who replied, and the ideas/tips! Looks like I can do what I had in mind, so now grandpa's gotta get off his duff and learn some new stuff :)
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